THEME

Elections

Regional Situation

Election periods in the East and Horn of Africa are times of heightened tension and often result in the temporary, or sometimes permanent, closing of civic space. Many political parties in the sub-region lack a strong platform to express view on social and political issues and civil society has often filled this gap. By monitoring the electoral process and demanding accountability and transparency, human rights defenders place themselves in the crosshairs of those trying to consolidate their power. In the past, this has lead to increased harassment, surveillance, arrests, and torture of human rights defenders, with their vocal criticism is often mistaken for opposition activities.

Latest News

Burundi: Extend CoI mandate for a further year

Ahead of the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, NGOs call on States to support a resolution extending the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Burundi for a further year, until September 2020.

The UN offers a way forward for human rights in Eritrea

DefendDefenders welcomes the adoption of a resolution on Eritrea today at the UN Human Rights Council (“Council”). While making clear that diplomatic pro­gress in the Horn of Africa has not translated into domestic human rights pro­g­ress in Eri­t­rea, the Council offers a way forward for human rights reforms in the country by stream­lining its approach and providing the Eritrean government with an opportunity to engage.

By remaining silent on Sudan, the UN Human Rights Council validates the sidelining of human rights

After failing to convene an emergency session on Sudan in the aftermath of the 3 June massacre, and failing to hold an urgent debate during its 41st ongoing regular session, the UN Human Rights Council (“Council”) is set to fail to adopt a resolution on the coun­try. By remaining silent on Sudan, the Council validates the side­lining of human rights from the regional mediation process and overall political efforts to settle the crisis, Defend­Defenders said today.

2015: Burundi at a turning point

DefendDefenders details extensively how the relationship between civil society and Burundian state authorities dramatically deteriorated ahead of the April 2015 Presidential elections.