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Defender of the month: William Leslie Amanzuru

William Leslie Amanzuru is a Ugandan human rights defender from Northern Uganda whose work focuses on environmental protection and climate justice. He is the founder of Friends of Zoka, an organisation aimed at stopping illegal logging in Zoka Forest. Amanzuru grew up around this forest,...
 

Defender of the month: Eulalie Nibizi

Eulalie Nibizi is a Burundian human rights defender (HRD) living in exile in Uganda, and since 2017 has been the Coordinator of the Coalition Burundaise des Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme (CBDDH). The CBDDH was founded in 2009 to promote civic and democratic space in...
 

Defender of the month: James Rukampena

50 year-old James Rukampena is a Ugandan human rights defender who advocates for the rights of rural local communities in Kabarole District, Western Uganda, to access their natural resources. Until 2015, Rukampena lived off farming the land surrounding Mwitampungu Lake, one of the many crater...
 

Defender of the month: Mohamed Farah

Mohamed Farah, 34, is a Somali human rights defender. He is the founder and chairperson of the Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN). In addition to his work with the Somali Coalition of Human Rights Defenders as a steering committee member and Disabled Peoples’ International, Farah...
 

Defender of the month: Vicky Ntetema

Vicky Ntetema is a former journalist and human rights defenders (HRDs) from Tanzania whose work spans more than two decades. In light of her home country’s recent crackdown on civic space, she has begun focusing her efforts towards full-time advocacy, bringing greater attention to human...
 

Defender of the month: Dinah Nakuwa

Dinah Nakuwa works with the Loima Women Empowerment Initiative (LOWEI), a small organisation of some 60 women founded in 2010 to address social issues in the Turkana region of Northern Kenya. In this arid hinterland, geographically and traditionally on the fringes of Kenyan politics, civil...
 

DefendDefenders launches new website

Dear friends and colleagues, In 2015, when we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (then still abbreviated EHAHRDP), we decided it was time to give the organisation a new, fresh face under its new name: DefendDefenders....
 

A new year, a new DefendDefenders!

Dear friends and colleagues, 2016 has been a challenging year for human rights defenders across the African continent, where tectonic shifts on the global political landscape have directly impacted the work of human rights activists on the ground. DefendDefenders has been busier than ever, working...
 

Eritrea: 15 years of silence

Today, Eritreans in London and Stockholm demonstrate to once again draw attention to the actions of one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Among those protesting are people who have not heard from family members since they were arrested in September 2001. Some are part...
 

Hassan’s blog: Overview on the 58th Ordinary Session ACHPR

As declared by the African Union Assembly, 2016 is the “Africa Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the rights of women”. The continent continues to bear challenges for a transparent, democratic and accountable environment in respect of human rights and rule of law....
 

In Celebration of King’s Day DefendDefenders Recognises the Kingdom of the Netherland’s Contributions to Human Rights in the East and Horn of Africa

On the occasion of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander’s birthday, DefendDefenders extends its warmest wishes and congratulations to the leadership and the people of the Netherlands and recognises the critical support they have provided in the promotion and protection of human rights in the East and Horn of Africa.
 

Uganda: Uphold Democratic Principles to Guarantee a Peaceful Election

On 18 February 2016, Uganda will hold its general elections, the most highly contested polls since the country’s first presidential election in 1996. The incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is running against his former allies, retired Dr. Colonel Kiiza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic...
 

End of Year Message From Hassan Shire

Dear friends, Season’s greetings from The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (DefendDefenders)! In October 2015, we celebrated 10 years of protecting those that defend our rights and I want to sincerely thank all of our partners and network members for joining...
 

Burundi: Human Rights Defenders Under Government Attack

Burundi is at a turning point in its short history as a democratic country. The country’s forthcoming third democratic elections since the end of its long civil war, scheduled for May 2015, are of critical importance to its peaceful development, and are a source of growing concern to many national and international stakeholders.
 

Q & A With Hassan Shire

As originally published in the East African, January 31st- 6th February Edition Can you begin by telling us about your organisation? The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) was established in 2005. This November, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary. We...
 

Through the Haze of Teargas, A Win for Kenyan Human Rights Defenders

Business must be booming for teargas suppliers in Africa. Many of the continent’s law enforcement agencies have shown a fondness for excessive force, including through the use of less-than-lethal crowd control tactics, such as teargas. Those on the receiving end are often citizens active and brave enough to exercise their right to protest in defense of their human rights, and the rights of others.
 

End of Year Message from EHAHRDP Executive Director

Dear Friends, Season’s greetings from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)! 2014 has been one of the busiest years in EHAHRDP’s history. Across the region, all of our departments have responded to an increasingly challenging environment for human rights defenders...
 

Burundi: Réflexions sur une mission officielle au Burundi

Alors que élections de 2015 approchent à grands pas, la communauté des droits de l’homme du Burundi, connue comme étant très active, fait face à des défis majeurs dans un contexte de plus en plus complexe et difficile. Au cours de l’année 2014, l’espace de...
 

Burundi: Reflections on Country Mission- November 2014

Blog post by Hassan Shire As the 2015 general elections approach, Burundi’s vocal community of human rights defenders are facing a number of significant- and worsening- challenges. Throughout the course of 2014, the space for civil society has progressively narrowed, and the operating environment for...
 

African civil society must have a place at Obama’s top table

Originally appearing as a guest blog for Front Line Defenders On 6th August, President Obama will host the inaugural ‘United States-Africa Leaders Summit’ in Washington DC. Some of the heads of state expected in the capital next week have presided over commendable economic, security, and public health...
 

Blog Post: Civil liberties being suffocated in Uganda

By Hassan Shire, Executive Director President Yoweri Museveni yesterday assented to a law that will institutionalise discrimination, and increase the potential for violence against one of the most vulnerable groups in his population. The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 has been widely criticized for violating many of...
 

End of Year Message From EHAHRDP Executive Director

Dear Friends, Season’s greetings from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)! Throughout the year, EHAHRDP has reported on the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists, and increasing attempts by state and non-state actors to undermine and...
 

Honouring Women Human Rights Defenders

Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) include women defending all human rights as well as all those who defend the rights of women and work on issues related to gender equality. WHRDs make a vital contribution to democratic processes, securing and maintaining peace, and ensuring security,...
 

BLOG: Hassan Shire Sheikh, Somali-Canadian pan-African human rights defender

(Geneva, 30 August 2013) - Hassan Shire Sheikh is a Somali-Canadian Pan-African human rights defender and the elected chairperson of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRDN). Hassan’s commitment and passion for human rights can be traced back to his early years growing up in Mogadishu, Somalia. In 2001, Hassan was forced to flee his home country and to seek asylum in Canada where he continued advocating for an end to the culture of impunity by demanding justice for victims of human rights violations.
 

End of Year Message 2011

Dear Friends, Seasonal greetings from the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. I hope 2011 has been a fruitful year for you as has been the case for EHAHRDP. This year has in so many ways been a significant one for EHAHRDP....