The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of ProtectDefenders.eu, has allocated an emergency grant to Damián Gallardo Martínez, defender of indigenous people and education rights from the Mixe region in the state of Oaxaca (Mexico).
Mr. Gallardo has been arbitrarily detained since May 2013, as stated by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Opinion 23/2014), as a consequence of his work for the release of political prisoners or indigenous rights in the Mixe and Zapotec regions. Mr. Gallardo is accused of criminal charges and has been subjected to repeated cruel and inhuman treatment and denied adequate medical care. The material support provided by ProtectDefenders.eu will allow Mr. Gallardo to cover expenses for adequate medical, psychological and legal attention to alleviate his situation.
In the last three months, ProtectDefenders.eu has allocated 46 emergency support grants to human rights defenders at risk, mostly to individuals working in the field of freedom of expression, indigenous people rights and good governance topics. China, Syria, Mexico, Ecuador, Burundi, Sri Lanka and Uganda rank among the countries of origin for a significant number of grantees, who requested support from ProtectDefenders.eu partners mainly to cover emergency relocation expenses, individual security measures and legal and medical assistance. Since the start of the project, the EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism has provided 278 emergency grants.
Threatened defenders facing pressing needs can apply to an urgent support grant at www.protectdefenders.eu. Secured and encrypted application forms are available for defenders and requests for immediate assistance, including to cover legal or medical support, material assistance or relocation measures, can be quickly processed by ProtectDefenders.eu partners.