Journalists and Press Freedom

Regional Situation

Journalists dedicated to providing public scrutiny of, and accountability for, human rights abuses and violations are increasingly targeted in the East and Horn of Africa. As civic space continues to shrink throughout the sub-region, media houses are faced with a range of restrictions that directly affect their ability and capacity to share information. Restrictive legislation, forced media house shut downs, and physical and judicial harassment have all been used to limit the media’s ability to shine light on human rights violations and abuses committed by both State and non-State actors.

Latest News

Civil society organisations call for Germain Rukuki’s acquittal in Burundi

Kampala, 28 November, 2018 – Yesterday, the appeal hearing of human rights defender Germain Rukuki took place in Ngozi before the Bujumbura Court of Appeal, with no security incidents reported. The Court took the case under advisement and the decision is expected to be announced...

28 November 2018
Ethiopia: DefendDefenders submits joint report to the 33rd Session of the UPR Working Group

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The process provides for the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs). Civil society actors...

5 October 2018
Burundi: Government attempts to obstruct UN work are futile

The Burundian government’s attempts to obs­truct the work of the UN Human Rights Council (the Council) are futile as they will not pre­vent accountability for grave human rights violations, DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) said after the Council adopt­ed a resolu­tion on Burundi’s human rights situation today. The resolution extends the mandate of the Com­mis­sion of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate Burundi’s human rights situation and regularly re­port to the Council.

28 September 2018


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Spreading Fear, Asserting Control: Tanzania’s assault on civic space

DefendDefenders raises the alarm about a growing human rights crisis in Tanzania

26 June 2018
“This Is Our Freedom. These Are Our Rights” Human rights defenders in South Sudan since July 2016

DefendDefenders examines the state of human rights defenders in South Sudan.

26 April 2018
Don’t Shoot the Messenger! Journalists as Human Rights Defenders in the East and Horn of Africa

DefendDefenders examines the challenges journalists face, and provides an overview of the various strategies they have used to circumvent and continue their work amid these restrictions

2 November 2017