Dear sisters, women human rights defenders!
No matter where you are at this moment, for me the most important thing is to be sure that you are healthy now and that your life is not in danger.
I do hope that you are reading this letter in a safe place where you are surrounded by the beloved ones and you get support from your invaluable colleagues with whom you share both the joy and the pain and hardships of human rights defender work, which has become an integral part of your life.
Even if in the past you have experienced frustration, fear, incarceration, resentment, and endless persecution and have fallen into a situation where simply the world ceased to exist for you, but you have never stopped because of this and have always found new strength to continue your work without which you would lose meaning of your life.
I am proud of you and congratulate you for being the bravest women in the world! No force can break strong women and no threat can stop strong women who confidently stand for the truth and fight for justice and resist against violators of their rights!
Each of us has a different story about how we became human rights defenders and why we risk our lives to get justice or to protect ourselves/ others from injustice.
Despite these different reasons and circumstances, I am sure that each of you dreams of a peaceful life and want to live without fear for your life and without fear for your family and loved ones.
Since working as a human rights defender is very exhausting, I would like to ask you to take care of yourself and not forget that the effectiveness of our work depends largely on how we support ourselves and how we take care of ourselves and each other.
We all need care and our health depends on the quality of self-care. If we do not take care of ourselves sooner or later, we will not be able to continue our struggle for justice, and therefore, dear sisters, take care of yourself and pay attention to your health first.
I like very much the proverb «If you leave your rifle without cleaning and lubrication, the rifle will refuse to shoot» Similarly, if we do not support ourselves and take care of ourselves, one day we will have to stop and our activism will be over. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will unarm ourselves and we will help those who tries to terminate our activities, to stop our movement for justice and women equality .
Let us not allow this to happen and take care of ourselves so that we are always ready to repel any attack by those who are trying to stop us.
I wish you a health, love, care and success and I want you to take care of yourself and support each other always. We will get stronger and stronger if we always support each other and only if we share our experience with each other and learn from each other how to resist, how to survive and how to stay safe.
I think of you always and I love you all!
With endless love and solidarity,