Annual Report 2020

In 2020, DefendDefenders and its partners continued to monitor and document human rights violations across the East and Horn of Africa sub-region.

Overshadowed by the COVID19 pandemic, 2020 saw further shrinking of civic space across the region, exacerbated by the pandemic-related restrictions.  Human rights defenders (HRDs) were disproportionately affected by increased restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly, expression, and access to information.

While new regulations were enacted to curb the spread of the virus and misinformation, they were also used to silence opposing voices and curtail protest movements, spurred on by increased police violence during COVID-19 lockdowns in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.

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