Posts Tagged ‘Hassan Shire’

Defend the Defenders newsletter about African developments

October 2, 2017

One of my sources is the Defend the Defenders network run by the East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. I will continue to follow it for you, but those with special interest in Africa should subscribe themselves:  https://app.getresponse.com/site2/publicsignup?u=Bl16k&webforms_id=1980102. Below the latest newsletter as an example: Read the rest of this entry »

DefendDefenders launched new security manual for human rights defenders in Africa

May 9, 2017

On 5 May, 2017, at the NGO forum preceding the 60th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) launched “Stand Up!”, a new organisational and personal security manual to help human rights defenders (HRDs) do their work in a safe and effective manner.
DefendDefenders was founded to protect HRDs from immediate risks. However, a decade of experience has taught us that much can be done to prevent them from reaching this critical point,” said Hassan Shire, Executive Director.By carefully considering their safety, developing strong security plans, and rigidly adhering to them, even HRDs working in extreme conditions can mitigate the risk they face as individuals and organisations.” “Stand Up!” helps defenders to reduce the risks inherent in achieving their goals. They can use it to better understand the opposing and supporting factors in their environment, identify their vulnerabilities, and create new capacities to stand up to adversity.
 
Book One covers personal, physical, and organisational security planning. HRDs can learn the essential framework for security analysis and planning as well as the support mechanisms available at the regional and international level for human rights defenders.
 
Book Two covers digital security for electronic devices, and online accounts and communications. It extends the lessons of security management into the digital realm with risk assessment of electronic workspaces and the essential steps to secure human rights work when it is conducted from phones, computers, email, websites, social media accounts and more.
Download the full manual here.
 
At the same time, the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRDN) also launched its annual “State of African HRDs” report, which examines the major events affecting the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression in the last year. The report is compiled with input from PAHRDN’s five sub-regional networks and is available in English and French.

Killing of land rights defender John Waweru in Nairobi decried

April 13, 2016

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya (NCHRD-K) and DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) expressed their outrage over the killing of human rights defender John Waweru on Monday 11 April 2016 in Zimmerman, Nairobi. John Waweru was the director of Githunguri Constituency Ranching Company and a committed human rights defender working towards the promotion and protection of economic and social rights. He was at the forefront of advocacy against forced evictions of individuals residing on contested land in Kiambu County.

The killing of John Waweru comes cynically shortly after the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the protection of human rights defenders addressing economic, social and cultural rights in March 2016 [see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/human-rights-council-adoption-landmark-resolution-protection-defenders-economic-social-cultural-rights/]

The NCHRD-K and DefendDefenders recall other cases against human rights defenders in Kenya, such as:

Joel Ogada, a human rights defender in Kilifi County who has been a leading advocate for land rights against the neighbouring Salt farms has faced three criminal charges, one of which resulted in him being sentenced to two years in prison after appeal. He was released in September 2015 and barely six months after his release, in March 2016, he was rearrested and charged with attempting to kill.

In 2013, Hassan Guyo, the Programme Director for Strategies for Northern Development (SND), an organisation that promotes human rights for women and children and works on refugee and human trafficking issues in Moyale was killed by security forces.

In 2009, HRDs Oscar Kingara and Paul Oulu of Oscar Foundation were shot dead in Nairobi.

In all of these matters, no one has been held to account and police investigations have been inconclusive.

For more information, contact Hassan Shire  Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project: executiveATdefenddefenders.org.

www.defenddefenders.org

10 years supporting Human Rights Defenders in Africa

October 27, 2015

Hassan Shire established the organization in 2005, after being forced into exile for his human rights work in Somalia. “I realized that many others shared the pain that I felt at having been forced away from my country and the sub-region,” says the Executive Director of EHAHRDP. “I began developing a project that would allow endangered human right defenders to continue their valuable work while safely staying in the region.” A decade later EHAHRDP has grown into an organization with 25 full-time staff dedicated to protecting human rights defenders throughout the region. Through capacity building and advocacy, EHAHRDP continues to empower defenders and strengthen their work, while ensuring their safety through its protection team and its network of national coalitions it established in the region.

This video explores the roots of EHAHRDP: how the idea of one human rights activist who was forced to leave Somalia became a fully functional support structure for human rights defenders across the sub-region.

https://vimeo.com/142100987

Austria and Netherlands pledge €1.35 million to African human rights defenders

February 16, 2015

World Bulletin News (from Turkey) reports on 13 February about the Dutch and Austrian governments funding a three-year project to support African human rights defenders. One always wonders why this kind of information pops up in one news source but not in others. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Defenders Conference in Mogadishu

January 27, 2015

It may not be the most important news, but the simple fact that a Conference on Human Rights Defenders in Somalia is being held in Mogadishu at all is not what one expects. A delegation of the African Human Rights Commission led by Reine Alapini Gansou arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia on Monday for the one-day conference.

The conference is a wider and nationwide consultative meeting that will be focusing improving protection capacity and promoting the right to defend human rights in Somalia and to achieving a safe working environment for Somali HRD’s, especially most-at-risk HRDs including the journalists and the civil society members.Hassan Shire, the chairperson of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network said in a press briefing at his hotel.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Delegation From African Human Rights Commission Arrive in Mogadishu for HRDS Conference.

NGO Forum Highlights Recent Pattern of Suppression in Zimbabwe

April 15, 2013

Having two days ago referred to the scathing attack on human rights defenders in Zimbabwe by two academics, it is perhaps fitting to give some attention to the a NGO forum recently held in Banjul where over 50 of Africa’s top human rights advocates discussed the current shrinking space for civil society in Zimbabwe. The event, held on the sidelines of the NGO Forum in advance of this week’s session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights ACHPR, convened a expert panel that included Dzimbabwe Chimbga (ZLHR), Susan Mutambasere (NGO Forum), Mabassa Fall (International Federation for Human Rights), FIDH, Hassan Shire (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network), and Wade McMullen (RFK Center). “Zimbabwe’s troubles from 2008-9 have returned,” noted Chimbga, “Over 400 human rights defenders have been targeted by the government in various ways in recent months.” The panel found systemic repression of civil society in violation of Zimbabwe’s international obligations. Several key issues were brought to the fore in the ensuing discussion, including the need for solidarity across the African continent and international community in advance of the impending elections in Zimbabwe. In response, pledges of solidarity, information sharing, and technical support came from across the region, including from human rights advocates in Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda. In particular, the discussion highlighted the need of SADC to both monitor and ensure that Zimbabwe’s electoral environment is free and fair in the months leading up to the vote.  As a result of the side event, a resolution was passed by the entire NGO Forum, requesting that the African Commission more effectively engage on the issue of Zimbabwe.

via RFK Center, ZLHR and NGO Forum Highlight Recent Pattern of Suppression in Zim | The Zimbabwean.

Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Adopt Plan of Action

April 2, 2013

On 21 March 2013 human rights defenders gathered in Yaounde, Cameroon for the first counterparts meeting of the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network PAHRD-Net adopted a plan of action to promote stronger collaboration and protection of human rights defenders across Africa. During the week-long meeting, representatives from the five sub-regions, the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network REDHAC, West African Human Rights Defenders Network, Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, as well as thematic focal points for women human rights defenders, defenders working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and HRDs working in conflict zone and journalist working to end impunity and corruption, shared experiences and best practices for protection, security management, advocacy, research, information technology, program management and fundraising.

In the plan of action, the PAHRD-Net steering committee agreed to carry out a number of joint activities to strengthen the capacities of the sub-regional networks and to work together to increase the protection and security support available to human rights defenders at risk across the continent.At the end of the meeting, Hassan Shire, PAHRD-Net chairperson said: “African human rights defenders encounter myriad risks and obstacles in carrying out their work. With the steps agreed today, PAHRD-Net looks forward to seeing empowered, safer and more effective HRDs working throughout the continent.” The meeting was made possible by the EU, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

via Cameroon: Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Adopt Plan of Action – East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

Australian Grant Program to Benefit Human Rights Defenders in Uganda and South Sudan | Press Releases

January 17, 2012

One does not hear much about what Australia does for Human Rights Defenders, so it is a pleasure to see the 6 January announcement by Hassan Shire, executive director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP).

Human rights defenders in Uganda and South Sudan are to benefit from Australia’s Human Rights Grants Scheme. The grant will allow EHAHRDP and its joint project with Protection International, Protection Desk Uganda, to deliver programs to improve security management among human rights defenders, strategies for coping with stress and trauma, and engagement with international and regional human rights mechanisms. “South Sudan is facing complex challenges in these early stages of independence,” Hassan Shire. “A strong human rights movement is needed for the entrenchment of a human rights culture in this new nation,”

In Uganda the grant will allow to share tools on security management with Ugandan human rights defenders and provide technical support that will enable them to assess risks emanating from their human rights work and develop tailor-made response strategies that mitigate risks and allow for a continuation of their work.
For more information, please contact: Hassan Shire, Executive Director, EHAHRDP at hshire@yorku.ca or +256-772753753