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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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.

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