ACHPR49: Report on human rights situation in the East and Horn of Africa (November 2010 – April 2011)

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This report highlights some of the key human rights issues in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region from November 2010 to April 2011 and addresses the human rights situation in ten countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, and two special territories, Somaliland and South Sudan. It focuses on issues relating to civil and political rights, and in particular the situation of human rights defenders, in line with the expertise of EHAHRDP.

Over the past six months, the human rights situation in the sub-region has continued to be closely linked to the holding of national elections, with journalists particularly affected. Restrictions on civil and political rights identified in this period have ranged from the development and implementation of restrictive legislation to direct attacks on human rights defenders, which have included physical and verbal threats, legal and judicial harassment, increased surveillance, and acts of physical violence, including targeted killings.

Certain groups of human rights defenders, such as defenders working in conflict zones, journalists, women human rights defenders and LGBTI human rights defenders have all continued to face particular threats in the period covered by this report as a result of the specific context and circumstances in which they operate.


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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