New York City—In in response to the hung jury in the case of human rights defender Scott Warren in Arizona, Human Rights First’s Senior Advisor on Human Rights Defenders Brian Dooley issued the following statement:
We have a long history of working with human rights defenders in many countries across the world, people targeted for their humanitarian work and for promoting the rights of others.
Warren never should have been prosecuted for providing water and medical aid to migrants in the desert. The prosecution bore the hallmarks of actions taken by authoritarian governments, and we urge the government not to retry the case.
This week, six United Nations experts—including the special rapporteur on human rights defenders—rightly urged for the charges against him to be dropped. Warren’s work in upholding the right to life should be celebrated and defended. No human rights defender—whether Warren or other activists including those from Pueblo Sin Fronteras in Mexico—should be targeted for their life-saving work.