COVID-19 updates: DefendDefenders continue to Respond to Emergency Protection Needs of Human Rights Defenders

Dear friends, partners, and human rights defenders,

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally and extraordinary measures are being enacted to respond to this threat, DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders must also be responsive to protect our staff, partners, beneficiaries, and to play a positive role in this emergency. Safety of our team is our number one concern.

The situation of COVID-19 in Uganda has changed dramatically in the past couple of days. Yesterday the Ministry of Health confirmed at least 10 known people and we are suspecting that the number could be higher.

DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders will implement a preventive social distance plan. As of today, all staff of DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders will work from home until further notice. All visitors to the office have been temporarily banned, all in-person meetings have been cancelled, and all activities that require in-person contact postponed.

We will continue to respond to emergency protection needs of human rights defenders as best as we can. We encourage all human rights defenders who need emergency protection to reach out to us via [email protected] or our 24/7 emergency phone line on +256 783 027 611. This line is also available on signal.

Please stay safe!

Hassan Shire

MORE NEWS:

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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