Somalia: Planning Meeting Held for New Project Supporting Human Rights Defenders

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Somalia: Planning Meeting Held for New Project Supporting Human Rights Defenders

Representatives of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRDP), Peace and Human Rights Network (PHRN) and Protection International (PI) met today in Kampala to consult prior to the launch of a 3-year project dedicated to building national capacity within Somalia to protect human rights defenders. The project, implemented by the three organizations in conjunction with the Somali Human Rights Defenders Network (SOHRIDEN), is supported by the European Union as a part of their commitment to democracy and human rights.

The project aims to strengthen monitoring and documentation on violations against journalists and human rights defenders, advocacy to national and international stakeholders to protect and grow the space to safely defend human rights in the country, and to promote security management for human rights defenders while offering protection when necessary.

Pictured: Hassan Shire Sheikh, Tabitha Netuwa, Neil Blazevic, Rosette Arinaitwe (EHAHRDP), Arjan Van Der Waal, Ben Kabagambe, Nora Rehmer, Francis Kagai, Stephen Gitahi Githuku (PI), and Abdidahir Adan Dirie, Solomon Ibrahim Ibrein (PHRN)

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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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