ACHPR: Report of the study group of freedom of association and assembly

In light of the visible trend of shrinking space for civil society and the persistent targeting of human rights defenders and their work, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights created the Study Group on Freedom of Association and Assembly during its 46th Ordinary Session.

As part of the Study Group DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) contributed to the report, which was concluded and launched during the 56th Ordinary Session.

Download the full report in English or French.

Update: In April 2016, during its 58th Ordinary Session, the Commission adopted a resolution giving the Study Group a mandate to draft guidelines on freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

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Human Rights Defender of the Month: Anny Kapenga

As a young student, Anny Kapenga used to cringe at the cult-like worship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the then Zaire’s President. By then, in the early 1990s, Zaire was still under one party rule, and calls were increasing for Mobutu to open political space to allow other parties to operate. In the meantime, however, all Zairians were expected to show affection for Mobutu wherever they gathered in public.

Students across Zaire’s schools were required to sing and dance adoringly before his (Mobutu)’s portrait every morning before they went to class, and all school scholastic materials were emblemed with his portrait. A young Anny never really appreciated the obsession:

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