Human Rights First Statement on New Trial Against Arizona Human Rights Defender

WASHINGTON – The continuing prosecution of Scott Warren in Arizona in a new trial is a classic case of judicial harassment against a human rights defender, said Human Rights First today. Warren’s first trial ended with a deadlocked jury in June 2019, but the authorities continue to press charges against him, accusing him of harboring migrants who entered the U.S. via the border with Mexico. A fresh trial opened this week.

Senior Advisor on Human Rights Defenders Brian Dooley issued the following statement:

Pursuing cases against human rights defenders for their humanitarian work is what authoritarian governments do. Warren never should have been prosecuted for providing water and medical aid to migrants in the desert, and this new trial shouldn’t be happening. 

This sort of judicial harassment bears all the hallmarks of repressive governments. In June, six United Nations experts—including the special rapporteur on human rights defenders—rightly urged for the charges against him to be dropped. That should happen immediately.

Warren’s work should be celebrated and defended, not criminalized. No human rights defender should be targeted for their life-saving work.”



Published on November 15, 2019


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