Ms. Yohanan Assefa, a Program Officer with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Ms. Sabrina Bazzanella the Operations Adviser Governance (Democracy and Human Rights) with the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Uganda, visited the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) today to discuss the status of human rights defenders working in the region. EHAHRDP works closely with the EU working group on human rights defenders which Ms. Bazzanella is part of. Ms. Bazzanella who has shown great dedication and commitment to human rights defenders met with Hassan Shire, the Executive Director of EHAHRDP and other staff members, Ms. Stella Murungi and Ms. Rosette Arinaitwe of the Protection Department in the Osman Hummaida Board Room to discuss current cases of human rights defenders.
Mr. Shire, as well as EHAHRDP Director of Programs and Administration, Memory Bandera Rwampwanyi and the Coordinator of Pan Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRDN), Mr. Joseph Bikanda also met with Ms. Assefa of NED. Mr. Shire discussed the current situation in the East and Horn of Africa and applauded NED’s ongoing commitment to supporting civil society organisations across the region. The discourse on specific trends around issues of elections, harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders including journalists, and restrictive laws across the sub-region in light of the organization’s activities were discussed. Ms. Assefa expressed her appreciation for the work of EHAHRDP in taking the lead to support and protect the rights of human rights defenders. NED’s valuable and long-standing support to EHAHRDP and PAHRDN has supported vital interventions and activities across all departments. NED was the first organization to provide support to both EHAHRDP and PAHRDN, and continues to do so.