Human Right First’s Brian Dooley to Advise UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

WASHINGTON – Human Rights First is proud to announce that Brian Dooley, who works for the organization as a senior advisor on human rights movements and the risk of persecution and reprisal they face, will also serve as an advisor to Mary Lawlor, the newly appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. Dooley will advise the special rapporteur on a range of issues facing human rights defenders while continuing his work at Human Rights First.

“We are incredibly proud Brian was chosen for such a distinguished and important role,” said Mike Breen, president and CEO of Human Rights First. “Brian has been critical to the success of numerous campaigns to support human rights defenders in Bahrain, Egypt and Hong Kong over the last ten years. He will be an asset to the UN Special Rapporteur’s team and his work will undoubtedly increase the visibility of the threats that human rights defenders face, and hopefully, lead to better protections for those doing the vital work of advancing human rights.”

UN Special rapporteurs are independent experts who serve three-year terms and are renewable once. Lawlor’s priorities include protecting human rights defenders from attack and from long, unjustified prison terms, and protecting human rights defenders who work in remote and often dangerous places around the world. Dooley expects to use his Washington contacts to help further the special rapporteur’s advocacy in the United States.

Dooley has been with Human Rights First for nearly ten years, during which he’s investigated and written dozens of reports about human rights defenders based on in-country research in Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. His work has placed special emphasis on containing and counteracting the United States’ retreat from global leadership on human rights. Prior to his role as senior advisor, Brian directed Human Rights First’s engagement with the U.S. government and other partners aiming to protect human rights defenders.


Published on May 12, 2020


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