ga('send', 'pageview');

With deep appreciation and pride KISA announces that last Friday, 31 May 2024, the international human rights organisation Front Line Defenders (FLD) selected Doros Polykarpou, co-founder and Executive Director of KISA for over 15 years and a fighting activist of the organisation for the last 3 years, as one of this year’s five Human Rights Defenders at Risk worldwide.

Each year, the FLD awards five human rights defenders from the five continents – regions of the world (Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa) who are at risk for their work. 

The other award-winning human rights defenders, their organizations and countries for 2024 are:

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Alan Glasgow, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders, said: “Given the immense challenges we face and the dark forces at work against human rights in many parts of the world, it can be tempting to lose hope that a better world is even possible. But these courageous human rights defenders have defied that temptation and inspire us to keep hope alive. They say ‘no’ to abusers and ‘yes’ to optimism – they know that a world that is fairer, more equal, that respects human rights is worth fighting for.”

The awards ceremony was held at Trinity College of the University of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The awards are the top distinction of the FLD, which is based in Dublin, has an EU Office in Brussels and regionally-based field staff  on all continents. FLD’s main mission and objective is the protection of  protecting human rights defenders around the world who are threatened and at risk because of their action and work in the promotion and defence of human rights. In 2018, the organization was awarded the UN Human Rights Award.

As stated in the above FLD announcement, this annual award was established in 2005 “to honour the work of Human Rights Defenders who are courageously making outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights, often at great personal risk and cost to themselves. The Award focuses international attention on the work and struggles of Human Rights Defenders, providing a greater internatioal platform to speak about and advocate for the human rights issues they are defending. This year’s laureates were selected from among scores of candidates nominated in a secure, public nomination process carried out between November 2023 and January 2024.”

After thanking the organisers for this “valuable award” and dedicating it “to the people and especially to the children of Palestine who are murdered daily by the Israeli army with the tolerance and support of the powerful players of the international community”, Doros Polykarpou referred to the “very serious issues Cyprus is is faced with, and the choice of the authorities to turn the refugee issue into a matter of national security and even the survival of the country. 

Refugees, migrants and the activists who support them are portrayed as the greatest threat to public safety, the demography and even the cultural identity of the society.”  With this narrative and policies, continued Doros Polykarpou , “they have poisoned society with hatred and paved the way for the rise of far-right and nationalist forces. …  In this context, we have become the target of systematic smear campaigns, hate speech, verbal attacks and even death threats. The culmination of this process … was the bombing of our offices on 5 January of this year. It is completely unacceptable that the government of Cyprus has so far failed to condemn the bombing.”

Steering Committee

Subscribe To Kisa Newsletter

Subscribe To Kisa Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. KISA's activity is focused on the fields of Migration, Asylum, Racism, and Trafficking, as well as raising awareness in Cypriot society.

You have Successfully Subscribed!