Is Europe free from harassment of environmentalists?
Hearing horrible stories about harassment of and violence against environmental defenders in other parts of the world, especially from Latin America and South East Asia, certainly disturbs us. However, we in Europe feel relatively safe in this regard. Is this a right feeling ? Well, in a way yes, because the harassment happening in Europe, especially in the EU, against environmental defenders, are incomparable in gravity with those happening in the world elsewhere. But let us not mislead ourselves believing that the old continent is totally free from these retributions.
We are working on the topic and collected a number of instances from 2018 that are characterised as harassment against environmental activists. European Environmental Bureau - EEB is also active in this field, and together, we want to make a difference. Our survey will be published in the form of a brief report soon, and in 2020 our organizations will start advocacy in order to support other NGOs who want to stand up against one particular form of harassment, called judicial harassment. The initiative to convince the European Union to adopt an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) directive is supported by Justice&Environment. While Member States are free to adopt their own anti-SLAPP legislation [tinyurl.com/u676s72], regulating this matter on the EU level would have a significant added value.Check our Facebook page and website regularly, and read our upcoming report on harassment of environmentalists in a number of EU MS, as well as our contribution to the campaign for an EU anti-SLAPP legislation.