Freedom House celebrates EU Human Rights Defender Award for Ugandan journalist but with some exaggeration

April 25, 2013

 

(Photo credit: HRNJ-Uganda website)

Freedom House got carried away a bit when it published the following:

Freedom House would like to congratulate Ugandan human rights activist Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala, on being awarded the European Union Human Rights Defender Award for the year 2012.  Ssebaggala is one of the founding members of the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) and has been its National Coordinator since 2009. He was honored for his efforts in defending media rights, recording and highlighting restrictions on freedom of expression and access to information, as well as attacks on journalists. Ssebaggala is certainly a most deserved winner, but when Freedom House states: “The European Union established the award to raise awareness about the work of individual human rights defenders (HRDs) around the world. [emphasis added]” it exaggerates quite a bit as is made clear by the EU delegation in Kampala in 2011 when it created the purely national award  http://www.deluga.ec.europa.eu/index.php/delegation-activities-in-uganda/political-press-information/press-and-info/news-releases/182-new-new-new-eu-local-hrd-awards-nominations.

IFEX at the end of its congratulatory piece at least recognises the local character of the award. http://www.ifex.org/uganda/2013/04/24/award_freedom/

Freedom House Grantee Receives the European Union Human Rights Defender Award | Freedom House.

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