iDefendRights: collecting stories from human rights defenders worldwide

DefendDefenders is excited to invite you to participate in iDefendRights, a new global project to create a massive audio archive of voices of people all over the world who defend human rights. We hope that you will record yourself on this platform, responding to a few questions, and that you will ask other to do the same. Once you fired up your computer, it will only take a few minutes.
All over the world, human rights defenders and civil society are under attack, confronted by hostile narratives that question the value and legitimacy of our work. Together with the Norwegian Human Rights Fund, Memria.org, and other partners DefendDefenders aims to demonstrate the wide diversity, commitment, and motivation of all people who defend human rights. After collecting the testimonies, the project will distribute many of them through creative communications channels.
Please take a few minutes out of your day and visit www.idefendrights.org to record yourself, anonymously if need be. We also encourage you to share this project with your friends, colleagues, and fellow human rights defenders.

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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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