ACHPR60: Updates from the East and Horn of Africa (November 2016 – April 2017)

In its biannual report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, DefendDefenders provides a six-month overview of events affecting the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region, highlighting worsening, sustained and targeted attacks on human rights defenders (HRDs), and civil society as a whole.

The full report was compiled with input from National Coalitions for Human Rights Defenders and local focal points in the East and Horn of Africa, and submitted on 8 May 2017 at the 60th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Niamey, the Republic of Niger, and can be found here.

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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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