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BANJUL: HRDs’ challenges continue as African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights reaches 30 years

BANJUL: HRDs’ challenges continue as African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights reaches 30 years

As the human rights community celebrates 30 years of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, human rights defenders continue to be impeded in the course of promoting and protecting human rights. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) should call for an end to restrictive laws mainly aimed at thwarting freedom of association and expression, acts of intimidation against key civil society actors and physical and verbal threats, which all threaten the fundamental rights and work of human rights defenders.

In its intervention to the Commission today, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net) raised concerns about how human rights defenders and in particular journalists in almost all the countries in the sub-region are being targeted and restricted in carrying out their work of informing the populace. EHAHRD-Net highlighted cases of attacks on journalists mainly from Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as the deteriorating legal and security environment for human rights defenders (HRDs) throughout the region.


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.