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BlogCommitteeHuman Rights Defenders

Why is Lawyers in Danger Day dedicated to Iran this year?

Following the protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, lawyers in Iran have faced unjust arrests and harsh sentences. On January 24th, we observe the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, a day dedicated to bringing attention to the risks lawyers face worldwide—persecution, intimidation, and violence—simply for doing their jobs. This date remembers the tragic events of January 24, 1977, when four Spanish lawyers and their colleagues were brutally murdered in what is known as the Massacre of Atocha, a moment that deeply moved Symone Gaasbeek-Wielinga and Hans Gaasbeek. Shocked by such violence, these two Dutch lawyers embarked on a monumental journey in the Philippines in 1990, uncovering the grave dangers faced by lawyers involved in politically charged cases.

Driven by a commitment to protect their peers, Symone and Hans played pivotal roles in establishing the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer in 2009. They also founded the Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation, aiming to cast a spotlight on this urgent issue and urging governments worldwide to cease the persecution of legal practitioners.

This year, our focus turns to Iran, a country where lawyers, following the protests triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death, face unjust arrest and severe punishment. Figures like Nasrin Sotoudeh and Mohammad Hossein Aghasi symbolise the courage of those detained for defending the right to protest.

On this day, we stand in solidarity with endangered lawyers in Iran and around the world who are being persecuted simply for carrying out their professional duties and upholding human rights and the rule of law. We call on the international community to demand the release of lawyers imprisoned for doing their jobs. Our colleagues deserve to be able to practice without fear or intimidation.

International law clearly recognises lawyers’ essential role in upholding justice and human rights in any society. The United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers specify certain protections and rights that lawyers globally should be afforded to allow them to perform their roles without being subject to interference or intimidation. These principles assert that lawyers should not be identified with their clients’ causes or held responsible for them. It is incumbent upon governments to ensure that lawyers can execute their professional responsibilities freely, devoid of harassment or undue interference. In instances where lawyers face threats to their safety, the authorities are obliged to provide necessary protections.

Furthermore, these principles forbid any discrimination in the licensing of lawyers based on gender, ethnicity, religion, or political beliefs. Ensuring access to legal representation for all individuals is a mandate. Independent bar associations, which shield lawyers from persecution and excessive limitations, must be allowed to operate without external interference.

Determining the exact count of lawyers incarcerated in Iran is difficult due to the lack of transparency. Nonetheless, it is understood that a significant number have been targeted, especially in the aftermath of the 2022 protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death. According to information from the United Nations dated June 2023, between September 16, 2022, and January 10, 2023, at least 44 lawyers were arrested for participating in the protests. While 27 of these legal professionals were freed, the remainder remain in detention.

The Iranian government should take the following steps to ensure lawyers can perform their professional duties without interference or intimidation:

Release lawyers imprisoned for convictions related to their work. Stop prosecutions and other sanctions against lawyers for actions taken ethically in their professional capacity.

Ensure lawyers are not identified with their clients’ causes. Do not charge lawyers for representing clients, regardless of the charges against those clients.

Allow lawyers to form independent professional associations without government interference.

Ensure disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are overseen independently by the legal profession, not the government.

Do not discriminate against people entering or practising law based on race, gender, religion, etc.

Protect the safety of lawyers who face threats due to their work.

Allow lawyers freedom of expression, belief, assembly, and association like all citizens.

Ensure everyone has access to legal services and lawyers of their choice, regardless of social or economic status. Fund legal aid sufficiently.

Inform accused persons immediately of charges against them and allow prompt access to a lawyer of their choice. Recognise lawyer-client confidentiality.

Allow lawyers access to information necessary to defend their clients.

Accept an independent international inquiry into the death of Mahsa Amini and other protest victims, given the questionable motivations behind prosecutions of lawyers and the need for justice.

In closing, We have included a detailed report compiled by the International Coalition for Endangered Lawyers and Iranian Attorneys, which sheds further light on the grave dangers faced by lawyers in Iran who are persecuted for fulfilling their professional responsibilities. I implore legal professionals, bar councils, human rights groups, and other associations globally to access and review this illuminating report. Please aid in spreading awareness regarding the struggles of endangered Iranian lawyers by circulating this report through social media and your networks.


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BlogEnvironmental RightsExecutive Committee

The effects of the weapons used in Gaza

White phosphorus: A destructive chemical weapon, harming beyond the battlefield. Pollutes air, soil, water, harming life and violating international law. White phosphorus is a chemical weapon [1] of war and is designed to inflict harm and destruction. Unfortunately, its impact goes beyond the immediate targets on the battlefield. When white phosphorus is deployed, it releases toxic substances into the air, soil, and water, leaving behind a trail of environmental destruction. [2]

One of the most alarming consequences is the contamination of soil. White phosphorus can persist in the ground, making it infertile and unsuitable for agriculture. This not only affects the livelihoods of those in conflict zones but also has long-term consequences for the ecosystems that support diverse forms of life.

Furthermore, when white phosphorus comes into contact with water sources, it leads to water pollution. The release of this chemical weapon can contaminate rivers and lakes, harming aquatic life and disrupting the delicate balance of ecosystems. The long-lasting environmental damage caused by white phosphorus affects not only the current generation but poses challenges for future generations as well.

According to The 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [3] its prohibited to use incendiary weapons like white phosphorus against civilians. Unfortunately, it has been used against civilian in the Gaza Strip on 10th of October of 2023. We, as responsible global citizens, should condemn the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war.

Another huge hazard is the release of asbestos in war inflicted areas. Asbestos is relatively safe when trapped in cement in building however poses a hazard when the building is destroyed such as demolition of buildings in Gaza. The consequences are alarming, as millions of tons of highly hazardous, asbestos-contaminated rubble are left in the wake of such destruction, presenting a long-term health threat. According to WHO expose leads to breathing difficulties and lung cancer.[4] Not only does it harm humans but animals too. Cats, dogs, and other animals can develop asbestos related illness where treatment option is limited and survival is low. [5]

Shortly, the devastating impact of white phosphorus extends far beyond the conflict area, leaving an lasting mark on both the environment and human lives. Additionally, the release of asbestos in conflict areas, poses an ongoing health threat for both humans and animals.





The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A blueprint for a more just world


UDHR guides empathy’s transformative power through principles of dignity. Realizing this vision begins with recognizing the shared humanity among us. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt found herself chairing a United Nations commission tasked with an immense challenge – defining fundamental human rights protections so the global community could unite to prevent future atrocities. Roosevelt later recounted, “We were primarily concerned with extricating humankind from the savagery and suffering which had characterized the war years. We aimed to lift human rights to the level of world conscience.” On December 10th, 1948, after tireless debates, negotiations, and revisions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was finally adopted by the UN General Assembly. This year marks the 75th anniversary of that revolutionary moment – emerging from the embers of global conflict to articulate innate freedoms no government can deny its people, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex or status.

As we commemorate this significant anniversary, reflecting more deeply on the fundamental basis for human dignity and rights proclaimed in the UDHR is fitting. What makes us human and gives rise to inherent equality and liberty? Human beings’ capabilities can be brought together under two general characteristics. On the one hand, humans are natural beings; on the other, they are rational beings. It is observed that the basis of their birth, growth, development and activities within the limits of the universe stems from these two aspects. As natural beings, it is understood that humans, like all other beings, exist in time and space and are subject to the laws of nature. Within the natural laws, humans are also subject to the motions of generation, corruption, and extinction intrinsic to nature through the aspect they possess from their creation. By rational beings it meant that humans materialized in this realm of natural beings, got to know, made laws freely within nature, and enforced them.

The point that needs to be concisely expressed here is that the human desire to know and make is a fundamental feature of human nature that can never be hindered. Knowing and driving are the most basic human rights. Any external intervention into the human abilities to know and make means denying human existence and being. In this sense, being human is in and of itself a right and reality.

On the other hand, a human finds the state we call freedom in the depths of his soul. The general term we use to express meanings like being free, independent, capable, able to implement, pure, noble-spirited, and unhindered in motion is “liberty”. The human who says “I exist too” and “I also have a place and meaning in existence” demonstrates that he is free primarily by becoming conscious of his existence and displaying it. Freedom liberty is the state of a human exhibiting his essence unrestrainedly and freely without being subject to any restriction. Freedom is a state of independence. This state characterizes the human being devoid of any coercion, limitation, or external pressure and denotes the power to act freely, which a human possesses by virtue of being human.

The concept of freedom is used as the equivalent of the concept of liberty. The state of thinking or behaving without being subject to any restraint or coercion, not being conditional on anything, and human deciding based on his own will and thought, independent of any external influence, is defined as freedom.

Freedom characterizes the area of independence of the individual. In this sense, freedom describes “not harming others”. Unlimited freedom would lead to an unfree situation, as it would limit the rights of others. In this regard, while our freedom limits the freedom of others, the freedom of others also limits our freedom.

External intervention in the exercise of rights and freedoms is inconceivable. However, the exercise of the rights and liberties also has a limit. For example, one does not have the freedom to recklessly endanger others or cause them harm, as that infringes upon their own rights and freedoms. The abuse of the rights and liberties cannot be permitted.

There is an intertwined relationship between the concepts of freedom and rights. However, while the concept of freedom expresses a more general and abstract state, the idea of rights characterizes a more concrete and specific situation. Freedom is a right that is innate to all individuals. However, not every right can be categorized as freedom. Freedom is the common origin of all rights, while rights are the legal powers granted by law to individuals in order to realize freedoms. Freedoms are “being able to do”. Rights are “to want.”

Human rights are inconceivable without freedom. The concepts of rights and freedoms are also closely related to the idea of equality. Equality and freedom are two concepts that complement each other. The idea of equality is often used together with the concept of freedom. The path to freedom passes through equality, and social order and individual freedom are achieved to the extent that freedoms are enjoyed equally.

Freedom cannot be transferred to another nor avoided. Using things that harm people is not freedom. There is rational freedom; however, no one has the freedom to eliminate the freedoms of others. For example, the freedom to restrict voting rights or access to healthcare directly inhibits the freedoms of certain groups. Benefiting from freedoms is achieved through knowledge. Ignorant people cannot benefit from their rights and freedoms to the necessary extent. Misusing rights and freedoms leads to their deprivation. Ultimately, the freedom to destroy freedoms contradicts the premise of liberty itself and is unacceptable in a just society aimed at empowering all individuals.

Thinking is a mind-based process where a causal relationship is established between events. Freedom of thought refers to people’s ability to access information and ideas freely, not being prosecuted for their thoughts and opinions, and being able to openly express, defend and communicate their thoughts and opinions to others without restriction. What is meant by freedom of thought is that individuals can freely express their perspectives and beliefs. Considering the essential role this freedom plays in enabling people to comprehend and exercise other liberties, freedom of thought has been given a superior and privileged status compared to other liberties.
It is human’s actions and creations that make the world meaningful. Humans are as valuable as the extent to which they work, produce, and share their unique gifts and talents. For example, great thinkers and inventors throughout history who shared their breakthrough ideas and technologies fundamentally shaped civilization. When confronted with adverse situations, humans will never relinquish their willpower and will respect all humanity’s universal rights and freedoms.

Throughout history, we have witnessed dominant worldviews applying pressure on minority perspectives, often attempting to assimilate or oppress those holding different viewpoints. Sources of such discriminatory attitudes include pessimism, jealousy, anger, and the conditioned assumption that one’s worldview must be the most correct. For instance, the oppression of religious minorities under various theocracies demonstrates this tendency for a dominant majority to perceive minority belief systems as threatening. However, a person carrying the joy of life would be tolerant and understanding towards other worldviews. One who has lost this sense of meaning might develop a pessimistic, hostile, and aggressive posture toward different perspectives. Essentially, upholding freedom of thought requires respecting a diversity of viewpoints.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, crafted in a spirit of convergence, not surrender, emerged from a collective conviction that human dignity hinges on equal empowerment. As one of its chief architects famously proclaimed, ‘Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.’

Today, we find ourselves inhabiting those ‘small places’ where rights and respect face daily scrutiny. When tensions arise between groups with divergent perspectives or experiences, we can draw inspiration from the UDHR’s emphasis on conscience over coercion, embracing dialogues that seek understanding rather than coercion. Truth and reconciliation commissions, for instance, have endeavoured to mend divides by bringing conflicting parties together through empathetic discourse.

Progress, like the path towards universal human rights, is a winding, arduous road, simultaneously upholding individual liberty and collective belonging through endeavours and communities that foster transparency alongside marginalized voices long silenced.

On this anniversary, the UDHR’s early champions would likely advocate not for self-congratulatory acclaim for past achievements but for an honest reckoning with the arduous journey ahead to elevate human rights to the cornerstone of universal principles within every society.

Empathy, not conformity, is the path to a more just world where all individuals can exercise their freedoms. The UDHR’s principles of dignity and understanding provide a roadmap for unlocking the transformative power of empathy. Realizing this vision starts with recognizing the humanity that binds us all.

Articles & StatementsBlog

10 December: A day of solidarity with people in the grip of conflict and crisis


December 10, Human Rights Day illuminates our identity, reminding us of our shared humanity, responsibilities, and the poetry of existence. In the heart of winter, as we are floating on the misty ocean of our collective consciousness the 10th of December emerges as the poetry of who we are, where we did come from, where we are going.

On this day, as we commemorate and observe Human Rights Day, we understand that when we, as humanity, forget who we are and where we come from, we risk beginning to cease to exist.

We may not see the dreams that cease to exist in the narrow alleys of Gaza, but those dreams become the stars that guide us in the spectacular ocean of our collective consciousness. Even though we do not understand the agony many individuals go through in Ukraine, the nation’s resilience becomes the boat on which we float. The suffering of the Uyghur Turks in China and their plight, marked by violations of fundamental human rights becomes the mist floating on the ocean of our consciousness.

As we mark the 10th of December, this day is a call to action, an invitation to stand in solidarity with those in the throes of conflict and crisis. It is a day to affirm our commitment to the ideals of justice, equality, and dignity for all.

In the heart of winter, December 10th stands as a beacon of hope, a reminder that even in the ongoing passage of time, we can embalm the virtues of human rights into our calendar of wisdom.

Let this day be a day of reflection on who we are, where we came from, where we are going, but also of resolve – a resolve to make the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights not just a poetry, but a reality for every person, in every corner of the world.

If this day does not become a day of resolve and reflection, then we would get lost like a waterdrop in an ocean.

BlogExecutive Committee

Let’s meet in the program where we introduce our human rights activities


10 December is Human Rights Day and we look forward to welcoming you to the HRS Launch Programme on Zoom. Dear friends,
10 December is International Human Rights Day, and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the UN Convention on Human Rights.
Let’s make use of this important day and make it more meaningful at a time when we are experiencing all kinds of rights violations.
As Human Rights Solidarity, which has been working in this field for 4 years, we will make a Zoom programme addressing the UK.
We will talk about what we have done so far, our goals for tomorrow, and what we can do together.
We sincerely believe that you will not leave us alone, in advance
nice we welcome you.




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Articles & StatementsBlog

HRS’s charitable status approved

Human Rights Solidarity begins the new year with great news, and we are excited to share it with our members.

The process of establishing our corporate identity, which we have been working on for a long time, has finally come to a conclusion, and HRS has officially been registered as a charitable organization, also known as a ‘public welfare organization’ by the Charities Commission of England and Wales (No: 1201416). The decision was communicated to us on December 21st and has been made public on the commission’s website.

Since 2020, HRS has been operating as a ‘solidarity platform’ under the umbrella of the London Advocacy Group, a non-profit company. Now as an independent organization, HRS sees it as a responsibility to act in partnership with other organizations as needed.

We believe that the new status brings energy and power that will allow us to reach our goals faster.

Articles & StatementsBlogProjects

2023 Training and Workshops

Here you can find some of the projects and activities that Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) will implement in new year. Children and Youth Rights Awareness workshop:

We will arrange a workshop to teach young people about the Rights of Children and Youth and to empower them and encourage them to acknowledge their rights. This will be an interactive session addressing topics such as:

  • Right to have an identity
  • Right to have an education
  • Freedom of thought and religion
  • Privacy
  • Right to Health
  • Standard of living
  • Rest and leisure

To volunteer for this project, please contact us at



This panel will focus on the UK’s current situation with the concord of ECHR decisions and their implementation into UK law. We will be listening the experts in Human rights, such as professors, human rights lawyers, judges, and more. This panel will be face-to-face in February. We will post the updates on our website soon.

If you would like to take part in organising this event, please write to us at


Research and discussion project on “Women’s power in world economy and science.”

Women have an underestimated contribution to the global economy and to science. We want to research and acknowledge women’s efforts, contributions, and inventions. This project includes academic research and interview series.

Please contact us to be a part of it at 



Human Rights Solidarity has registered to join UN CSW. We will be entering the UN’s face-to-face parallel events in New York and discussing the outcome of our research project, “Women’s power in world economy and science” we will host guest speakers and prepare a presentation for this event. We need human resources to prepare for this event.

Please email us if you wish to participate in organising this event

Deadline: 6 January.


Human rights history walking tours in London, such as the Suffragette, Black history, and more. London is full of history. We will be walking to different London landmarks to witness the history of human rights.

These tours will be open to volunteers, and the guide will be booked in advance.


Discussions with young people on ‘activism through art.’

Activism has many formats, and the use of art is a profound method. Art is not only an abstract way of acting but also a way of showing solidarity. We will discuss the art pieces that demonstrate the violation of human rights and try to find ways to show solidarity.


Research on International Criminal Law and Rome Statute’ mass killing of political groups’ and why it is not covered in the term ‘genocide’.

This research will try to identify the core elements of genocide described in the Rome Statute and analyse the reason behind setting ‘protected groups’ and why political groups are not one of them. The outcome of the research will be published on our website.

Please contact us if you wish to be part of the research team.


Research on the violation of disabled people’s rights and their struggles.

Disabled people are often isolated, and their rights are repeatedly violated. We want to research disabled people’s rights regarding ECHR decisions and share the outcome on our website.


Talented activists’ training.

This will be a training series for our volunteers to improve their skills and learn new ones in order to benefit the company.

After completion of the training, we will apply the new skills to our projects.

This will be seen in the form of creating podcast series and making video edits for our social media accounts.

The training will start by addressing the following topics:

Podcast training

Video editing training

Public speaking training


Discussion on the limitation of freedom of expression in line with hate crimes: What are the limits?

Freedom of expression and hate crimes are in absolute conflict. Hate crimes are at their highest records on social media. In the case of these vocalisations of hate, many argue that freedom of speech is essential. But do we know where freedom of speech and the effects of hate begin and end? We will discuss the types and forms of hate crimes, the groups who are facing the hatred and how to stop said crimes, including ways to report them.

We will be preparing documents for each attendee to read before this discussion.


Amnesty International “Oppressor and Oppressed” Panel

 We are organising a panel with Amnesty International on Islamophobia; this event will focus on the violation of human rights towards Muslim people.

The details of the event will be decided soon in a meeting with Amnesty International and we will keep you posted.


Cyber security and human rights

Cyber security refers to the practices and technologies used to protect against cyber attacks, data breaches, and other online threats. These threats can come from various sources, including hackers, cybercriminals, and even nation-states. Cyber security is vital for individuals, organizations, and governments because it helps protect against the loss or theft of sensitive information and the disruption of services and systems.

On the other hand, human rights refer to the rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of nationality, race, religion, or any other status. These rights are recognized and protected by international law and include rights such as the right to life, liberty, and security of person; the right to freedom of expression, religion, and association; and the right to an education and to participate in cultural life. The relationship between cyber security and human rights can be complex, as the internet and other digital technologies have become increasingly crucial for the exercise of many human rights.

For example, the right to freedom of expression is often exercised online through social media and other platforms. The collection and use of personal data online threaten the right to privacy. At the same time, cyber security is necessary to protect these rights, as individuals and organizations are at risk of cyber attacks, data breaches, and other online threats that can compromise their privacy and security.

Overall, the relationship between cyber security and human rights is one of both reliance and protection. The internet and other digital technologies have become essential for exercising many human rights, and cyber security is necessary to protect these rights from online threats. It is vital for individuals, organizations, and governments to be aware of this relationship and to work to protect both cyber security and human rights. As the internet and other digital technologies have become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, they have also become essential for exercising many human rights.

For example, the right to freedom of expression is often exercised online through social media and other platforms. The collection and use of personal data online threaten the right to privacy. Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in protecting these rights. Without adequate cyber security measures, individuals and organizations are at risk of cyber attacks, data breaches, and other online threats that can compromise their privacy and security. These threats can also limit an individual’s ability to freely express themselves or access information, which can have a chilling effect on exercising their human rights. In addition, cyber security is necessary to protect against state-sponsored or other large-scale cyber attacks, which can have severe consequences for human rights. For example, a cyber attack on a government’s computer systems can disrupt public services and undermine the rule of law.

In contrast, a cyber attack on a media outlet can restrict the flow of information and limit the freedom of the press. Cyber security is essential for protecting human rights in the digital age. It is crucial for individuals and organizations to be aware of the threats to their cyber security and to take steps to protect themselves, and for governments and other actors to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to safeguard cyber security and human rights.


Articles & StatementsBlog

Is it possible to fight for human rights on SM?


Social media has become one of the most important alternative news sources today. The Internet is also used to publicise and prevent human rights violations.

However, the impact of social media in winning such struggles is still a matter of debate. While some argue that social media posts contribute to the spread of rights violations, others believe that they have a deterrent effect on society and governments.

Those who advocate both views present strong arguments in their own way. In this article, I will leave the arguments aside and focus on statistics and share concrete data.

According to Statista, more than 3.6 billion people used social media in 2020. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to about 4.4 billion.

These figures make social media one of the most popular digital activities in the world.

Internet users spend an average of 2.5 hours a day on social media.

But what does this data mean for human rights?

It means that when it comes to human rights, social media is a unique tool for raising awareness and preventing human rights violations.

Why is it so unique? Because social media expands people’s access to information as much as possible. What do I mean by that?

For example, in countries ruled by dictators, printed and broadcast media can be used as weapons of the regime. It can be used to spread disinformation, interfere in elections, and encourage and incite violence.

We have all seen one or more examples of this. But social media is not an organ that governments can control through pressure.

Through social media, people can communicate their thoughts and opinions to large masses. It is not very difficult to overcome the control mechanisms imposed on the printed and broadcast media through social media.

The oppressed masses can make their voices heard by more people on social media. Social media activism, also known as “hashtag activism”, has led to significant results in recent years.

Social media can therefore raise awareness about human rights issues, expose violations, and encourage people to take action.

One of the most effective examples of this is the ‘BlackLivesMatter’ movement.

This movement reached people all over the world through social media, organised them, brought them together, and enabled them to share critical information affecting their lives instantly. Thus, they achieved success.

They succeeded in publicising the fact that systematic racism is still a major problem in developed countries and all over the world and that no one should remain silent about it. They prevented the acquittal of some state officials charged with this offence.

When used correctly and effectively, social media can become a unique tool for the defence of human rights.

Those who do not want to be bystanders to atrocities and injustices have learned how to raise their voices, that they have rights, and how to protect them through “Hashtag Activism,” and they have paved the way for effective victim assistance.

We must use social media to be the voice of millions of people who have been arbitrarily killed, tortured, subjected to cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, forced or slave labor, deprived of their liberty through unlawful arrest or detention, and targeted by discrimination and racial or religious hatred. We need to make these grievances known to as many people as we can all over the world. The most effective and fastest way to do this is through social media activism.

Let’s say “Stop” to rights violations with the hashtag #SolidarityForAll!



Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

We are deeply saddened by the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. We mourn her passing and her loss will be felt around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with the royal family. Rest in peace #queenelizabeth