Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Centre Uganda’

Fascinating insight: local community can be the leading violators of rights of HRDs

July 6, 2017

Local community leading violators of rights of HRDs

We all assume that the biggest threat to human rights defenders comes from the State or similarly powerful actors. Now a report by the Human Rights Centre Uganda (led by former UN Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya, pictured above) shows that it can be the local community that is the leading violator of the rights of HRDs. Juliet Kigongo of KFM, reports on 16 June 2017 that – at least in Uganda – 28% of complaints recorded were about members of the community, against 17% about government officials and 16% about politicians. The study was carried out in nine districts of Kasese, Mbarara, Lira, Soroti, Gulu, Mbale, Hoima and Kampala with Arua being the most affected.

[The report compiled by the Human Rights Centre Uganda also raises the red flag over the slow investigations of cases of violations against rights defenders, warning that the “slow pace of investigation could be seen as condoning attacks on Human Rights Defenders. While launching the report Margaret Sekaggya, the center’s Executive Director appealed to parliament to review existing laws that impede the work of human rights defenders and ensure that the legislative framework reflects provisions of the constitution and Uganda’s international commitments to ensure a safe and conducive environment.]
That the danger comes from all sides is clear, see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/06/30/uganda-killing-of-human-rights-defender-erasmus-irumba-by-security-forces/, but I really wonder what the situation is in other countries and whether other such studies have been carried out.

Source: Local community leading violators of rights of HRDs | KFM

Human rights defenders’ offices in Uganda suffer from lack of security

April 12, 2013

The Ugandan Observer  reported that the NGO Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)  has been the target of break-ins three times in five years at their Nsambya office. According to Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive director of FHRI, such break-ins and robberies don’t only demoralise them, but also have become a threat to the work and confidentiality of their documents in particular. “We don’t feel at ease when such events happen,” he says, “we have lost a lot of data and that’s a big threat to our work.” FHRI is not the only human rights defenders HRD organisation that has been broken into by unknown persons, taking documents and computers. Last December, the office of the Sexual Minorities of Uganda SMUG was broken into, with a lot of equipment stolen. A report assessing the environment in which human rights defenders operated last year, shows that actually, a host of civil society organisations were broken into – a fact seen as a way of crippling their operations in the country.  “HRDs, especially within the civil society, who draw attention to human rights violations sometimes have become visible targets susceptible to reprisals,” notes the recently-released Human Rights Defenders in Uganda report: “The Quest for A Better Working Environment, Vol II, 2012” (by the Human Rights Centre Uganda).

These cases are reported to police but according to Sewanyana, there has not been much help.“We have reported all these to police. We have written statements but not a single suspect has been arrested,” Ssewanyana told The Observer. However, Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi says they have to follow due procedure. “Police is doing its work and when the investigations are done, the perpetrators will be brought to book,” he says.

via The Observer – Human rights defenders decry persecution.