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© 2009 Douglas J. Klostermann - Photoshare

Hugs of solidarity for Maryam

Maryam Alkhawaja, vocal advocate for digital security for women human right defenders all around the world, experiences online harassment as a direct consequence of her human rights activism for Bahrain.

Last week, she and her friend were followed in London, and photos of them hugging each other were taken without consent. Now, these photos are circulated globally along with demeaning comments about Maryam's identity and her activism.

Online harassment targeting WHRDs is not only used to delegitimise their human rights activism, but also put them under direct risk through defamation. It is also deliberately used to demoralise WHRDs and  destabilise their meaningful contributions to justice struggles globally. Maryam is currently experiencing a form of harassment as part of gender-based violence online that questions her role in the wider justice struggles as a woman. The smear campaign also disseminates false information about her identity and her work.

With our partners across the world, we are starting a global online hugfest on Twitter to show we are not silent at the face of such outrageous online attacks!

Send your hugs and solidarity to Maryam, at @MaryamAlkhawaja using the hashtag #Hugs4Maryam until 21 October 2016

Follow the campaign #Hugs4Maryam on Twitter

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