HRWF’s successful interventions


HRWF’s main objective is to find solutions to human rights violations experienced by individuals around the world. As demonstrated in the stories below, it can sometimes take years to solve an issue of this nature.

HRWF specializes in addressing unreported and under-reported human rights issues by raising awareness through media campaigns and its newsletters, which reach approximately 10,000 decision-makers and influential actors worldwide.

HRWF is often asked to share some of its success stories. Here are a few of them starting with the most recent.

Belarus: Preventing the extradition of a Jehovah’s Witness to Russia (2020)

Nikolay Andreyevich Makhalichev, a Russian citizen, was arrested and detained in the Republic of Belarus on 21 February 2020. As a Jehovah's Witness, he was wanted in Russia for a criminal conviction based on his religion.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Poland: Ending the exploitation of North Korean workers (2019)

For nearly three decades, North Korean citizens were sent to work abroad, and then the North Korean government would confiscate 80-90% of their salaries. One country these workers were sent to was Poland. There, they were subjected to forms of exploitation by their own political regime.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Sudan: Release of Petr Jašek (2017)

After spending over a year in a Sudanese prison awaiting trial, Petr Jašek was sentenced to 23 1/2 years imprisonment on fabricated charges. His humanitarian work, which he was being persecuted for, included donating to an injured man in Khartoum and assisting an NGO aiding displaced Christians in Sudan and Nigeria.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Japan: The end of forceful religious de-conversions (2013)

For about 40 years, thousands of Unification Church members in Japan were kidnapped by their own families and then confined for days, weeks, months and even years for the purpose of coercive religious deconversion. These illegal activities were mainly organised by Protestant pastors and evangelists in their fight against “heresies”.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Europe: Criminalisation of clients in sexual exploitation cases (2008)

In 1998, Sweden was the first country in the world to adopt a law criminalising the clients of sexual services so as to fight sexual exploitation and trafficking. This new approach was initially met with skepticism by other EU member states.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Belgium: Public condemnation of abuse of imprisonment and disregard of religious beliefs led to release (2006)

An Indian businessman was arrested and incarcerated in Belgium on the basis of an international arrest warrant, but his request for extradition to India was repeatedly denied by Belgian authorities. Additionally, his dietary restrictions due to his religious beliefs as a Hindu were not respected by prison authorities.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
North Korea: Ending the killings of babies of pregnant women extradited from China (2003)

North Korean women who had sought asylum in China and then were sent back to North Korea were placed in prisons upon their return. However, due to a prohibition on pregnancy in North Korean prisons, many of these women were forced to have abortions or either kill/watch their babies be killed upon birth in horrific ways.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Greece: The creation of civilian service for conscientious objectors to military service (1997)

From 1940 to 1994, 2,728 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Greece were given sentences totalling 10,050 years in prison for refusing to serve in the army due to their religious beliefs.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
France: Ending the imprisonment of conscientious objectors to military service (1997)

In 1992, between 700 and 1,000 conscientious objectors to military service were routinely sentenced to one year in prison in France. Most of them were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.
Greece: Kokkinakis case, the first religious freedom case in Strasbourg (1993)

Minos Kokkinakis, a Jehovah's Witness in Greece, was arrested more than 60 times for proselytism and served a cumulative total of over six years in prison. Finally, he brought a case against Greece to the European Court of Human Rights due to these violations of his right to freedom of religion or belief.

Click the title to read how HRWF helped.