Country Reports: Overview of the Human Rights Situation in the East and Horn of Africa

EHAHRD-Net welcomes the opportunity offered by the 50th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) to highlight some of the current human rights issues in the East and Horn of Africa region for the period of May 2011 to October 2011.

This report especially assesses the status of civil and political rights in the sub-region, given the worrying range of restrictions implemented during this period. Restrictions range from the implementation of restrictive laws mainly aimed at thwarting freedom of association and expression, acts of intimidation against key civil society actors and physical and verbal threats. Violations against journalists in particular have been on the increase in most of the countries in the sub-region. Another trend worth noting also is the increase in the collaboration among states in the region in regard to the repatriation of refugees.  For the full report click this link click here.

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Human Rights Defender of the Month: Anny Kapenga

As a young student, Anny Kapenga used to cringe at the cult-like worship of Mobutu Sese Seko, the then Zaire’s President. By then, in the early 1990s, Zaire was still under one party rule, and calls were increasing for Mobutu to open political space to allow other parties to operate. In the meantime, however, all Zairians were expected to show affection for Mobutu wherever they gathered in public.

Students across Zaire’s schools were required to sing and dance adoringly before his (Mobutu)’s portrait every morning before they went to class, and all school scholastic materials were emblemed with his portrait. A young Anny never really appreciated the obsession:

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