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Social media activated personal alarm launched

International human rights charity, Civil Rights Defenders, has announced its first personal alarm to incorporate Facebook and Twitter.

Named after Natalia Estemirova, a leading human rights defender in the North Caucasus who was brutally kidnapped and murdered within 24 hours of being abducted, the Natalia Project uses GPS and social media to inform of a kidnapping within seconds.

Like no other personal alarm available, the Natalia Project bracelet has the capability to Facebook and Tweet life threatening news of a kidnap anywhere in the world, in order for Civil Rights Defenders to take action. With the incorporation of Facebook and Twitter, the personal alarm bracelet has the potential to inform millions of people about a kidnapping by using a mobile signal which can then issue a real-time GPS location of the victim directly to Civil Rights Defenders’ headquarters.

Additionally the bracelet also notifies nearby contacts so that they can instantly act and/or inform social media followers.

“Most of us, given the chance, would like to help others in danger. These civil rights defenders are risking their lives for others to have the right to vote, or to practice religion or free speech,” Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders stated. “These are rights that Westerners take for granted every day.”

He added: “The Natalia Project makes it easy for anyone to contribute to the safety of civil rights defenders to allow them to carry on their crucial work, either showing strength in numbers, by ‘liking’ or following on social media, or by donating directly to support the ongoing work.”

With the capability to alert the world within an instant, the Natalia Project aims to prevent cases like that of Natalia Estemirova by contacting the authorities in time. The Natalia Project also hopes to apply pressure to the kidnappers as the world will immediately become aware of an attack.

Fifty-five bracelets are to be distributed to human rights activists over the next 18 months, dependent upon receiving enough financial support from sponsors and the general public. The first personal alarms will be distributed at Civil Rights Defenders’ conference, Defenders’ Days, in Stockholm this week.

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