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At least 331 human rights defenders were murdered in 2020, report finds

Two-thirds of those killed worked to protect environmental, land and indigenous peoples’ rights, while those providing Covid relief also faced reprisals

At least 331 human rights defenders promoting social, environmental, racial and gender justice in 25 countries were murdered in 2020, with scores more beaten, detained and criminalised because of their work, analysis has found.

Latin America, the most dangerous continent in the world in which to protect environmental, land and human rights, accounted for more than three-quarters of all the murders of human rights defenders in 2020. In Colombia, where activists are routinely targeted by armed groups despite a 2016 peace deal, 177 such deaths were recorded, more than half of the global total. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 25 murders, followed by Honduras, Mexico, Afghanistan, Brazil and Guatemala.

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