Uganda: Government Minister Shuts Down Human Rights Workshop

The Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Hon. Rev. Fr. Lokodo Simon, yesterday shut down a capacity-building workshop organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) in Entebbe, Uganda and attempted to have FARUG Executive Director Kasha Nabagesera Jacqueline arrested. Without a valid warrant, but accompanied by the police, the Minister insisted on inspecting the training materials being used and closed the workshop in person.
The events came exactly a week after the reintroduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) to the Parliament of Uganda. As well as threatening the safety and security of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, the draft legislation contains harsh provisions which would seriously restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and would threaten the ability of some human rights organisations to continue operating.
The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) condemns this infringement on the right to freedom of assembly and association as provided by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, and calls on the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity to explain the grounds on which the actions were taken. EHAHRDP recalls the rights of human rights defenders to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without harassment or intimidation as provided by the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
For more information, please contact:
Hassan Shire, Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project: [email protected] or +256 772 753 753


Human Rights Defender of the month: Esther Tawiah

In Ghana, Esther Tawiah is one of the loudest voices for women empowerment and gender. It is also why she is one of the most loathed. Born and raised in New-Tafo in the country’s eastern region, Esther grew up surrounded by a culture that frowned at the idea of women participating in public affairs, and witnessed firsthand, the backlash those who dared to challenge that cultural norm faced.

“I grew up in a society where ageism and sexism were so entrenched. As a young person, you weren’t supposed to give your opinion on public issues, especially if you were a woman. Women who dared to speak up were caricatured and branded as frustrated, unmarriageable prostitutes, all designed to shut them up,” she says.