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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: Pamela Angwench Judith

For most of her life, Pamela Angwech’s existence has always been a defiant and simultaneous act of survival and resistance. In 1976 when she was born, the anti-Amin movement was gathering pace, and her family was one of the earliest victims of the then dictatorship’s reprisals in Northern Uganda. Her father, a passionate educationist in Kitgum district was one of the most vocal critics of the dictatorship’s human rights excesses, which made him an obvious target of the state’s marauding vigilantes.

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