Police Interrupt regional Human Rights Defenders Workshop in Kampala

June 19, 2012

A training workshop for human rights defenders organized by the East
and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project [EHAHRDP] has been interrupted
by uninvited media representatives and the police. Participants are
currently being questioned by the police.
EHAHRDP organized the training working on monitoring, documentation
and reporting of human rights violations for LGBTI defenders, which
opened this morning at Esella Country Hotel, Najjera, Kampala. The
workshop organisers, which brought together twenty HRDs from Uganda,
Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, as well as seven EHAHRDP staff members and
interns, stopped the meeting when they learned that the media was
coming to the hotel. Around ten journalists arrived at approximately
2.30pm, and two or three cameras were used to film the event. EHAHRDP
has not been able to establish who informed the media that the
training was taking place, although some of the journalists claimed to
have received the information via the Minister of Ethics and
Integrity, Rev. Simon Lokodo.

Soon afterwards, the police arrived and began to question
participants. Led by the head of the Kampala Metropolitan Criminal
Investigations Department, the police began by questioning Paul
Njogore from Freedom House, Jane Wothaya Thirikwa from Gay Kenya
Trust, Neil Blazevic (a Canadian citizen) and Tabitha Netuwa from
EHAHRDP, who were then held for some time in a police van and were
told they would be taken to the Kira Road police station. The police
are currently questioning all participants one-by-one, including by
forcibly entering their hotel rooms.

EHAHRDP calls on the Ugandan police to immediately release all
participants, and condemns this unjustified interruption of our
legitimate activities.
For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire, Executive Director on executive@defenddefenders.org or
+41 793 375 875
Rachel Nicholson, Advocacy Officer on advocacy@defenddefenders.org or
+41 762 556 769

2 Responses to “Police Interrupt regional Human Rights Defenders Workshop in Kampala”

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