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

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Updates from October 2021

The final quarter of the year is one of the busiest periods at DefendDefenders. This is also heightened by the deteriorating situation in Sudan and Ethiopia that continues to destabilize an already delicate region.

Public statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on closing civic space

As the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights holds its 69th ordinary session, DefendDefenders and the South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), call on the government of the Republic of South Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens to peacefully assemble, associate, and express opinions and views, strengthen the legal framework that allows citizens and civil society organizations to form and operate without any hinderances.

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