posted at 19:50
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Alarm sounded over attacks on defenders of land rights
In a wide-ranging report covering 29 countries, the International Federation of Human Rights said that "Land rights defenders have never before been so targeted." "Pressure on land has today become unsustainable, and demanding that a community's economic, social and cultural rights are respected has become a high-risk activity," the FIDH said. The group said that 43 land rights defenders had been murdered between 2011 and 2014 and 123 had been the victim of "Judicial harassment". People standing up for their land rights are often attacked by "Police, military, private security agents or 'mercenaries'," the report claimed, in a bid to "Silence opposition voices that might put a brake on an investment project." "Threats, harassment, arbitrary arrest, assault, murder - such acts are targeted at land rights defenders more than any other kind of human rights defender," the report concludes. More than 95 percent of cases of legal harassment go unpunished, the FIDH report charged. To resolve the problem, the group urged better international laws to protect those defending land rights and called for the issue to be put on the agenda of the 2015 international climate conference. FIDH is an umbrella group representing 175 human rights organisations across the world with its secretariat based in Paris.

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