The first 5 bracelets were issued from April 2nd through April 5th during the Civil Rights Defenders’ conference, Defenders’ Days. The CRD plans on issuing 55 of these bracelets over the next year and a half.
The bracelets are described as a personal alarm, and the product is called the “Natalia Project”. It was named after Natalia Estemirova, a human rights defender who, in 2009, was murdered within 24 hours of being kidnapped. The CRD believed that if the authorities were alerted sooner of Natalia’s kidnapping, the tragedy could have been prevented. Robert Hårdh, the Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders, stated that these bracelets “gives us an opportunity to react faster and extend our hands-on protection further.”
The GPS bracelet can be activated manually, or if an attacker forcefully removes it from the activist’s wrist. A signal with the activist’s GPS location will be sent to the CRD headquarters in Stockholm. Alerts will also be sent out to other CRD activists within the vicinity, and an automatic notification will be sent out throughout the Natalia Project’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.