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. Despite some areas of improvement in specific country situations, this submission highlights worrying trends across the sub-region, including the targeted harassment and attacks against human rights defenders (HRDs), as well as an overall shrinking of civic space between October 2018 and April 2019.
Disregarding their obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), over the past six months governments in the sub-region have sought to restrict legitimate expressions of civilian dissent like peaceful demonstrations, free expression of HRDs and independent media, as well as targeted civil society organisations (CSOs) through various strategies of harassment and repression.
Throughout this submission period, DefendDefenders also published original research on the state of HRDs in Ethiopia, and in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, which only further highlight the deteriorating state of human rights in the sub-region.
This submission was prepared with the assistance of reports and information sent to DefendDefenders, the secretariat of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net), by our members and partners throughout the sub-region. It was submitted on 24 April 2019, at the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.