ACHPR58: Updates from the East and Horn of Africa (October 2015 – March 2016)

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network welcomed the opportunity offered by the 58th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to highlight some of the current human rights issues in the East and Horn of Africa region for the period from October 2015 to March 2016, and did so in the report it submitted this morning.

This report was prepared with the assistance of reports and information sent to DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project), the secretariat of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network by our members and partners from the sub-region.

The past six months have seen heightened restrictions of civil and political freedoms during electoral periods in countries across the sub-region such as Uganda, Tanzania and Djibouti, as well as the grave and extremely worrying deterioration of on-going crises in Burundi and South Sudan. We have witnessed worsening patterns of harassment, intimidation and attacks on human rights defenders across the board, and renewed government clampdowns on human rights activities.

In many countries regressive legislation was passed, curtailing citizens’ rights to free expression and peaceful assembly. Increasingly, counter-terrorism laws are being misused to target the legitimate work of human rights defenders. NGO and Media Bills are increasingly being passed with broad and vague terminology, facilitating judicial proceedings against independent human rights organisation and media outlets under the guise of “threatening national security”. Across the region, administrative and bureaucratic harassment is used to disrupt the work of human rights defenders and journalists.

The report contains a number of recommendations to the ACHPR, as well as detailed country overviews for the East and Horn of Africa.

Download PDF


Updates from October 2021

The final quarter of the year is one of the busiest periods at DefendDefenders. This is also heightened by the deteriorating situation in Sudan and Ethiopia that continues to destabilize an already delicate region.

Public statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on closing civic space

As the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights holds its 69th ordinary session, DefendDefenders and the South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), call on the government of the Republic of South Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens to peacefully assemble, associate, and express opinions and views, strengthen the legal framework that allows citizens and civil society organizations to form and operate without any hinderances.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email