Covid-19 isn’t just a global health crisis, it’s a human rights crisis too. Now you have the opportunity to support those people who are putting their lives at risk to protect human rights, via our new fundraising campaign, Hope in a Time of Crisis.

Hope in a Time of Crisis offers you a fantastic opportunity to double your impact. Two generous trusts have kindly offered to match donations that are given to us between midday on Thursday 2 July and midday on Thursday 9 July. It would be wonderful if you were able to add your support at this critical time.

The global pandemic has given some governments and others an excuse to introduce repressive measures, heavy-handed security responses and targeting of vulnerable groups.

For example, at a time when press freedom and accurate reporting is more important than ever, we know that many journalists around the world have been harassed, threatened and arrested while trying to cover the pandemic. Elsewhere, aggressive cyber-policing and increased online surveillance has led to healthcare workers, medical professionals, activists, political opponents being arrested for allegedly spreading “fake news”. Meanwhile, lockdown has made it harder for human rights defenders to continue their work.

To make a stand against human rights abuses can be dangerous
As Mkhaitir and Gloria experienced first-hand, those people who defend themselves and others against human rights violations can find themselves out of work, prevented from accessing vital services, imprisoned or forced into exile. Persecution can involve intimidation, physical and sexual violence, torture and worse.

To be a prisoner of conscience at any time can mean trying to survive on the fringes of society. Today, their already precarious situation has been compounded further still as a result of the economic and social challenges caused by the current crisis.

Thanks to supporters like you, we are here to help
Prisoners of Conscience provides financial assistance to people who have been persecuted for making a non-violent act of conscience. Our grants pay for accommodation, medical and legal bills, food, clothing, travel and transport – whatever is needed to enable a prisoner of conscience to survive at that point in time.

The human rights defenders we help, like Mkhaitir and Gloria, tell us how this financial support makes a big difference to their lives. Not only does it mean they can survive physically, but it also gives them hope. Hope that their actions haven’t been in vain. Hope that others care about the same issues they do. Hope that there are compassionate individuals such as yourself who want to help them.

Now we have the chance to bring hope to even more people who have been persecuted for standing up for what they believe in. But we can’t do it alone. Could we count on your support today, please?

One donation; twice the impact
This exciting matched funding campaign means that you can double the difference you make at no extra cost to yourself. For example, every £100 that is donated via the Big Give website, we raise £200. For every £1,000, we receive £2,000. One donation, twice the impact.

For donations to be eligible for doubling, they must be made by credit or debit card through the Big Give website only between midday on Thursday 2 July and midday on Thursday 9 July. Any donations made through the Prisoners of Conscience website will NOT be doubled.

Please make your donations here: bit.ly/hopeinatimeofcrisis

In times of crisis, the knowledge that others care can make all the difference. While all eyes are locked on governments and their response to Coronavirus, let prisoners of conscience around the world know they haven’t been forgotten. Give them hope. Please make a donation today.

It will only be with your help that we can reach our target of £20,500. Together we can give hope to even more courageous people around the world who have been persecuted for standing up for their – and our – rights.