Panic Button launches in Portuguese

Jandira Queiroz, Activism Coordinator at Amnesty International Brazil, said: 

"We at Amnesty International Brazil are very pleased to be part of the beta-experience of the AI Panic Button. We’ve already announced to our activist that the app will be available soon, and asked those who own smartphones with the Android operational system to install it and give us the feedback. In a country where a huge part of the population uses such smart phone aplications, we believe the Panic Button app will be useful to help keep activists safe when in risky situations”.

Panic Button in Sudan

Human rights activist Ibrahim Alsafi recently joined a Panic Button training of trainers in Uganda and has since delivered trainings to fellow activists in the Girifna student movement. Ibrahim describes the human rights situation in Sudan and how he hopes Panic Button will help Girifna respond to cases of unlawful detention.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting with some activist friends from Khartoum, who had recently been released from detention for organizing and participating in protests after a student from Khartoum University was killed by supporters of the ruling party.

The killing incident wasn’t the first in the history of the student movement, and unlawful detention happens every day in our country. We do our best to release those who have been detained by influencing the government, by protesting and by doing whatever we can.

What was really scary is that while in detention my friends had met four students from another university who had been there for several months without anyone knowing anything about them or working to get them released.

This is only one case of unknown detainees. How many others don’t we know about? Anything might happen to them because no one would know!

Just days after this, I received an invitation from Amnesty International to meet the Panic Button team, and I felt finally that someone is doing something about it. It was so easy to learn how the app works. Everyone who might face danger in their work needs to have the application on his or her phone: activists, human rights defenders, students, lawyers, everyone back home in Sudan must have it.

Now we are giving Panic Button trainings to activists within the student movement in Sudan. I hope this will help to ensure we do not miss future cases of unlawful detention and that we can respond to help more people.

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Panic Button in the Philippines

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Filipino human rights defender, Miko Mendizabal, reflects on the experience of participating in the Panic Button trainings and the growing use of mobile tools to support the work of human rights activists.

During the Panic Button launch by Amnesty International in cooperation with the Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of people’s Rights, 35 human rights defenders and advocates from across the Philippines gathered together to test the app.  Over a few days, I got to work with many people from different places and it was amazing how our experiences defending people’s rights can inspire such innovation.

In a country haunted by a long list of human rights violations and political killings, I have learned that human rights are not just something you enjoy but a principle that you need to fight for. Years of working with peasant activists has humbled me. The peasants who comprise 75% of Filipinos are not only economically and socially marginalized but they are common targets of human rights violations. According to Karapatan, organized peasant groups face the highest number of political killings in the country.

An application that can possibly save human rights defenders from abduction or illegal arrest is something I wouldn’t have thought possible. Learning to use the app and considering the potential difference it could make for human rights defenders made me think about the possibilities it opens up. For one thing, app developers can provide secured ways for communication and tools to make information exchanges much safer. Again, these are simply tools and not fool proof protection for us. However, the best way to protect ourselves is through preparation and minimizing risks.

Panic Button, in the days we have been testing it, has proven to be a potent tool. Always wary of its limitations, the workshop organizers have been quick to remind us that it can work for some situations and not others. Especially when our work requires constant visits to far flung areas where access to telecommunications are scarce, we cannot solely trust our security to an app. Of course, with suggestions and inputs from testers, I can say that the possibilities for the Panic Button to be useful to human rights defenders in the Philippines are huge.

A map of all of the countries where Panic Button is being tested in the East and Horn of Africa! 

Another submission to the blog!
"Three HRDs from Somalia and Somaliland symbolically surround an HRD from Uganda to illustrate community protection and support.
It’s important in this advancing world to think about harnessing technology to develop secure solutions for HRDs and we believe strongly that innovations like the panic button are answering that call. In situation like Uganda where there is continued unlawful clampdown on HRDs’ peaceful assemblies, the Panic button will come in handy for rapid response to cases of HRDs held in undisclosed places.”

Another submission to the blog!

"Three HRDs from Somalia and Somaliland symbolically surround an HRD from Uganda to illustrate community protection and support.

It’s important in this advancing world to think about harnessing technology to develop secure solutions for HRDs and we believe strongly that innovations like the panic button are answering that call. In situation like Uganda where there is continued unlawful clampdown on HRDs’ peaceful assemblies, the Panic button will come in handy for rapid response to cases of HRDs held in undisclosed places.”

This morning participants from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders network practised leading sessions on the Panic Button to prepare for their own trainings in countries across the region. 
The group first developed a framework for training that covered the following topics: Participant selection, Presenting and setting up Panic Button, Selecting contacts, Developing a coordinated response strategy, Necessary information about the HRD at risk, Checklist for being prepared/alert.Each participant prepared a methodology and a short session for the group. There were some amazing and creative ideas and lots learnt about approaches to train on technology and protection strategies for human rights defenders.

This morning participants from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders network practised leading sessions on the Panic Button to prepare for their own trainings in countries across the region. 

The group first developed a framework for training that covered the following topics: Participant selection, Presenting and setting up Panic Button, Selecting contacts, Developing a coordinated response strategy, Necessary information about the HRD at risk, Checklist for being prepared/alert.

Each participant prepared a methodology and a short session for the group. There were some amazing and creative ideas and lots learnt about approaches to train on technology and protection strategies for human rights defenders.

Panic Button for Rwandan users. It says: “Panic Button is an alert tool that lets your 3 contacts know you are in danger.”

Panic Button for Rwandan users. It says: “Panic Button is an alert tool that lets your 3 contacts know you are in danger.”

"We think Panic Button is a tool that can be useful in countries like Sudan where mass arrests and detention of human rights defenders are common and where often families of the victims struggle to know the whereabouts of their loved one."

The sign says: “Panic Button is an SMS alert application for Android that enables human rights defenders and other individuals at risk to get out a message and location information as fast as possible to their network in an emergency.”

"We think Panic Button is a tool that can be useful in countries like Sudan where mass arrests and detention of human rights defenders are common and where often families of the victims struggle to know the whereabouts of their loved one."

The sign says: “Panic Button is an SMS alert application for Android that enables human rights defenders and other individuals at risk to get out a message and location information as fast as possible to their network in an emergency.”

EAST AND HORN OF AFRICA: Human Rights Defenders Train In New App To Defend Themselves Against Attack - East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project

It’s our final pilot training! We are excited to be working with defenders from 10 countries across the East and Horn of Africa.

Compartiendo saberes y fortaleciendo alianzas con otras mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos :)Sharing knowledge and strengthening connections with other women human rights defenders

Compartiendo saberes y fortaleciendo alianzas con otras mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos :)

Sharing knowledge and strengthening connections with other women human rights defenders

Mujeres diversas,  retando el conocimiento,  apropiandonos de la tecnologia, asumiendo y reconociendo el riesgo, trabajando intensamente por  nuestra proteccion, BOTON DE PANICO YA!!!!

Diverse women, building knowledge, taking hold of technology, recognizing risk, working intensely for our protection, PANIC BUTTON NOW!!!!

Picture 1: Women + Technology + Knowledge + Diversity / Risk = Security & Protection

Picture 2: All of the participants are linked to create a circle of protection. 

Entrando en panico con AMNISTIA y la Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Defensoras!!! :-0

  

Panicking with AMNESTY and the MesoAmerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative!!! :-0

Matilti - Colectiva Feminista - El Salvador

Esta manana aprendimos sobre Matilti, una herramienta mas creada desde las propias defensoras para implementarse en su plan de seguridad, ante el contexto adverso por su labor en defensa y promocion de los derechos humanos en Mesoamerica.

  

This morning we have been learning about Matilti, a tool developed by defenders to use as part of their security plans to be used in adverse situations. This is important for their work defending and promoting human rights in Central America. 

"Reconocer los puntos o lugares en los que me siento insegura o vulnerable me ayudo a darme cuenta en que momentos podria usar el boton de panico."
- Integrante de la Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Mexico

  

"Recognising the points or places where I feel insecure or vulnerable helps me to think about occasions in which I could use the Panic Button.”
- Member of the National Human Rights Defenders Network in Mexico

"Reconocer los puntos o lugares en los que me siento insegura o vulnerable me ayudo a darme cuenta en que momentos podria usar el boton de panico."

- Integrante de la Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Mexico

  

"Recognising the points or places where I feel insecure or vulnerable helps me to think about occasions in which I could use the Panic Button.”

- Member of the National Human Rights Defenders Network in Mexico

Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative (IM-Defensoras) | JASS (Just Associates)

This week we’ve been working with 20 women from IM Defensoras, representing national women human rights defender networks in five countries in Central America.

 IM-Defensoras seeks to provide alternatives for protection, self-protection, and safety to tackle the violence that women defenders face, both due to their work and to their gender, thus contributing to women’s continuing struggle for human rights.