Over the past decade, legislation limiting or restricting civic and political space has been adopted in several countries of the East and Horn of Africa. Some laws directly target civil society by imposing restrictions on access to funding, but also give authorities disproportionate powers to limit freedom of association, which effectively stifles the scope and work of human rights organisations. Other efforts have been more circumspect, with lawmakers purposefully employing vague language in national security and media legislation, allowing authorities to selectively target human rights defenders and criminalise their work.
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.
Press release by DefendDefenders and the Djiboutian Observatory for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights
Oral statement at Human Rights Council - 39th regular session - Item 4 General Debate
Despite being forced into exile after April 2015, many Burundian HRDs continue their work. A new report examines the challenges they face.
DefendDefenders raises the alarm about a growing human rights crisis in Tanzania
DefendDefenders examines the situation of HRDs living and working in exile, and provides a resource guide of the various support mechanisms available to them.