ACHPR62: Updates from the East and Horn of Africa (October 2017 – April 2018)

In its bi-annual 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.

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 26 April 2018 at the 62st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

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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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