Charlie Hebdo: An Attack on Fundamental Human Rights and our Common Humanity

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The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) mourns the deaths of the twelve victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

“Freedom of expression is not only a protected right under international law, it is also a fundamental element of our common humanity that crosses all national, cultural and religious boundaries”, said Hassan Shire, EHAHRDP’s Executive Director.

“Yesterday’s horrifying attack should reaffirm that which is self evident- that democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression are more powerful tools than those who operate through violence, oppression and fear”.

EHAHRDP stands in solidarity with the victims and families of all those affected, as well as with all journalists, satirists, human rights defenders, and all others exercising the right to freedom of expression across the world.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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