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Annual Report 2021

The East and Horn of Africa sub-region continues to experience restrictions and narrowing of civic space. The right to freedom of opinion and expression continues to be violated by multiple governments in the region. Journalists face harassment, threats, detentions, arbitrary arrests, physical attacks, and even murder in some countries.

 The shrinking civic space creates an environment where journalists self-censor, which ultimately has an adverse impact on citizens’ access to information. The volatile situations in Ethiopia and Sudan coupled with the pre and post election violence in Uganda further increased human rights violations recorded in the respective countries and distorted livelihoods. 

These challenges continue to place HRDs in danger and hamper the work of civil society in the East and Horn sub-region.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Joseph Oleshangay

As a human rights lawyer and advocate with the High Court of the United Republic of Tanzania, Joseph Moses Oleshangay spends most of his time crossing from one court to another, litigating human rights cases, some with life-altering implications for ordinary people. It is a monumental responsibility, one he never envisaged growing up.

As a young boy born into a Maasai household in northern Tanzania, his entire childhood revolved around cattle: “Our entire livelihood revolved around cattle. As a child, the main preoccupation was to tend to cows, and my formative years were spent grazing cattle around Endulen. It a simple lifestyle,” he says.

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