Posts Tagged ‘Kampala’

Enough break-ins is enough say Ugandan human rights defenders

February 12, 2018

I wrote earlier about the suspiciously high rate of break-ins in the human rights community in Kampala [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/14/uganda-ngo-offices-regularly-ransacked-coincidence/]. The Ugandan Observer of 12 February writes: “Angry human rights workers camp at Old Kampala police

Police has called for calm and patience from furious staff of human rights awareness and promotion forum-Uganda (HRAPF), who’d staged a protest at Old Kampala police station following a second break-in into their offices last week. Nearly two years after the first break-in on May 22, 2016 – leading to the brutal murder of the security guard on duty Emmanuel Arituha; last week on February 9, HRAPF offices in Kampala were again broken into by unknown assailants.

Some of HRAPF staff and partners in a meeting with police station DPC

Armed with placards, HRAPF staff camped at Old Kampala police station to demand for the immediate conclusion of the investigations into the now rampant breaking into NGO offices. Following a meeting with senior police officials at the station, police acknowledged the need for quicker investigations and promised to provide armed guards to the NGO until the investigations are concluded. For the first break-in investigations, police officials reportedly said the file had been called to the CIID headquarters but will be recalled to the station to conclude investigations. 

A matrix organised by the by National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHRDU), shows that at least 24 premises of Non-governmental organisations and civil societies have been broken into since 2012.

…..

Organisations such as the Uganda Land Alliance, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, the Legal Aid Service Providers Network, Akina Mama Wa Afrika and the Anti-Corruption Coalition have suffered break-ins in similar fashion and, despite timely reports to the police on all occasions, investigations have been unsatisfactory and the follow up insufficient.

This is the latest in a series of attacks against civil society organisations which, regardless of the motivations of the assailants, points to the increasing lack of protection provided to human rights defenders in Uganda, said Jjuuko.

http://observer.ug/news/headlines/56884-angry-human-rights-workers-camp-at-old-kampala-police.html

https://76crimes.com/2018/02/09/unchecked-criminals-hit-ugandan-civic-groups/

DefendDefenders seeks Project Coordinator for the Great Lakes region

January 17, 2017

DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) is the secretariat to a network of more than 75 member organisations drawn from eleven countries in the sub-region. Additionally, DefendDefenders acts as the secretariat for the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network, which brings together five sub-regional networks from North, Central, West, Southern and the East and Horn of Africa. Further information can be found on the website.
DefendDefenders is in the process of recruiting a Project Coordinator for its work in supporting human rights defenders in the Great Lakes region.
Key responsibilities:
  • Coordinate the implementation of our Great Lakes region project, including project design and planning, implementation, coordination of activities, budget management, evaluation and reporting to ensure that the project is effectively and efficiently managed in accordance with the strategy of DefendDefenders and the parameters of its partner regulations and procedures;
  • Ensuring high quality, integrity, transparency and accountability of key processes in the project, including: project design, development, and budgeting; project approval process; financial management; and reporting;
  • Ensure swift communication and collaboration with the Great Lakes region project partners for the effective implementation of the project;
  • Establish or reinforce partnerships with other organizations in the field, to create synergies for raising awareness on human rights compliance and protection in the Great Lakes region ;
  • Undertake regular visits to countries of the Great Lakes;
  • Monitoring the human rights legislations, issues and development in the Great Lakes region;
  • Support network of human rights defenders and organization in the Great Lakes region;
  • Engage in strategic advocacy activities, including press releases and statements in conjunction with the advocacy team.
Competencies include:
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (spoken/written), including the ability to listen to and incorporate the views of stakeholders;
  • Ability to engage with project partners, donors and state authorities clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • Proven ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Ensure all personnel related issues for the staff are carried out in accordance with DefendDefenders guidelines;
  • Strong time management and coordination skills.
  • Ability to foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning;
  • Ability to identify beneficiaries’ needs and suggest appropriate solutions;
  • Strong comfort with usage of information and internet technologies;
  • Ability to follow digital security protocols.
Education and experience
  • A master’s degree in human rights, law, social sciences, political science or a related field from an accredited academic institution with a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience on project management;
  • A solid understanding of human rights and protection mechanisms;
  • Familiarity with the Great Lakes region and previous experience working in the region ;
  • Good conceptual and analytical capacity;
  • Very good budgeting, project management and report writing skills;
  • Ability and willingness to travel.
Languages
  • Fluency in English and French (both spoken and written) is a must, and fluency in Kirundi and/or Kinyarwanda a strong asset. As part of the recruitment process, short-listed candidates will be tested on their knowledge of both English and French.
The position will be based in Kampala, Uganda with frequent travels within and out of the country. Applicants should be eligible to work in Uganda without restriction. Applicants should send a letter of motivation, CV and contacts of three references to: jobs@defenddefenders.org by 25 January 2017.  The subject line of the email should read “Application for Project Coordinator Great Lakes Region position”

Source: – East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project

National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders in Uganda launched

June 14, 2013

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project announced the launch of the new Ugandan National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders on Tuesday 11 June 2013. Six leading human rights organisations (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Human Rights Network Uganda, Human Rights Centre Uganda, Avocats Sans Frontiers, NGO Forum and Foundation for Human Rights Initiative)  took the initiative to bring human rights defenders HRDs in Uganda together under one national coalition to enhance their protection and co-ordination. A 2012 report by Human Rights Centre Uganda, “The Quest for an enabling working environment for human rights defenders in Uganda” prepared the ground. 

via Kampala: Launch of a National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders – East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

 

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.

Pan-African protection of Human Rights Defenders boosted with EU grant

February 5, 2013

Having just today reported on the new human rights defenders network created in the Arab world, I would be amiss not to draw attention to the developments of an already existing network in Africa. On 4 February 2013 the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRD-Net) officially launched from Kampala, Uganda, a 3-year programme totalling 1.8 million Euros to promote a safe legal and working environment for human rights defenders (HRDs) across Africa.

The tireless and innovative work done at the sub-regional level to protect human rights defenders will now have a dedicated venue at the Pan-African level for mutual support and reinforcement,” said Hassan Shire Sheikh, Chairperson of PAHRD-Net and Executive Director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP). Today’s launch is the result of a process started in 1998 in Johannesburg (All-Africa Human Rights Defenders Conference) and renewed in 2009 at the follow-up meeting in Kampala.humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

PAHRD-Net brings together the five sub-regional human rights defenders networks in Africa (the Central African HRD Network, the East and Horn of Africa HRD Network, the North Africa HRD Network represented through the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Southern Africa HRD Network hosted by the International Commission for Jurists, and the West African HRD Network) to meet the protection needs of human rights defenders and especially to address the needs of the five groups of most-at-risk: journalists fighting to end impunity and corruption, women human rights defenders, defenders working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, HRDs working under oppressive regimes or in armed/post-conflict areas, and HRDs engaging with the resource extraction industries.

Human rights defenders are individuals working alone or through organizations under the goal of promoting respect for universal human rights norms. Frequently HRDs come into conflict with the entrenched local power structures of state and non-state actors through their activism. This conflict can put in jeopardy the security of the HRD and their work and family networks. HRDs are often the victims of harassment, threats, assault, injury, and death across Africa, and many are forced into exile, a move which may effectively end their advocacy for human rights. The consolidation and growth of protection mechanisms within the sub-regions will improve the responses available to mitigate these threats and develop HRDs’ ability to manage their own security effectively.

The European Commission supports the new programme under its global fund for Democracy and Human Rights, which is to underpin the implementation of the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders

For further information please contact:

Hassan Shire Sheikh – Chairperson, Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network executive@defenddefenders.org

Joseph Bikanda – Coordinator, Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network: Tel +256-312-202133, +256-312-265825, or panafrica@defenddefenders.org

Rachel Nicholson – Advocacy Officer, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project: Tel +256-312-265-824, +256-778-921274, or advocacy@defenddefenders.org

Ugandan LGBT activist becomes Human Rights Defender of the Month

December 7, 2012

While the debate is again raging in the Ugandan parliament and internationally on adopting an anti-homosexuality bill with extremely severe punishments, Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders as adopted as its HRD of the Month: Brian Nkoyooyo.

‘Fit in’, instead of standing out, is a general security advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people in Uganda. “It is a matter of survival”, says Brian Nkoyooyo, Director of the grass root organisation Icebreakers that works with LGBT youth. Since he is a well-known gay activist in a country that is considered to be one of the worst countries for LGBT people, he is always on guard: “I live every day as it was my last”.

Icebreakers Uganda is a grass root organisation founded in 2004 that functions as a node for small networks, in both rural and urban Uganda. The discretely hidden office in Kampala is open throughout the week and plays an important part as a gathering point where people can meet and share experiences, use the library and get Internet access.

The interview gives considerable detail on the question and modalities of “coming out” linked to Brian’s own life experience.

The organisation strives to help people accept and be comfortable with their sexual orientation and gender identity, but calls for caution when coming out:

Interesting is that Brian states “Ironically, in 2009 the Anti Gay Bill actually led to a positive development for the LGBT movement in Uganda. Previously, only a few civil society organisations had included LGBT people’s rights in their work for human rights. With the tabling of the bill, a coalition of several civil society actors was formed to fight the Bill.” Kasha becoming the MEA Laureate in 2011 was another rallying point.

Brian Nkoyooyo

Foto: Ninke Liebert Photography

“As an activist, I can stand up and speak out. People may choose to listen and other may not. I can easily be made to shut up. But with art, it lasts for centuries and it reaches a wider audience. I prefer use of art and music because I know the biggest number of the community appreciates it compared to long boring speeches”.

Despite being constantly afraid, for his family’s sake, his gay and straight friends and himself, Brian continues to work because he has a vision for the LGBT community and Uganda at large. “A dream where people live harmoniously regardless of their differences: sexual orientation, race, gender and more. A society full of love”.

for full story go to : https://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/featured/human-rights-defender-of-the-month-brian-nkoyooyo/


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