Posts Tagged ‘Tanzania’

 Human rights defenders receive their 2018 UN prizes

December 20, 2018

Secretary-General António Guterres (2nd left) and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (left) with winners of the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights at the General Assembly’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The “clear and profound” guidelines enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “have made it the world’s most widely translated document”, the UN Secretary-General told the General Assembly on Tuesday at an event to commemorate the Declaration’s 70th Anniversary, marked 10 December.

Every five years, The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights is awarded to organizations and individuals which embody excellent activism in defending human rights. [see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/united-nations-prizes-in-the-field-of-human-rights]

The 2018 winners are:

  • Rebeca Gyumi of Tanzania, for her work with women and girls. She lead a campaign that prompted the repeal of a Tanzanian law in 2016, which once permitted girls as young as 14 to be married off.
  • Asma Jahangir of Pakistan, a human rights lawyer – whose daughter, Munizae, received the award on her behalf. Mrs. Jahangir, who passed away in February of this year, fought against religious extremism and for the rights of oppressed minorities.
  • Joênia Wapixana (known also as Joenia Batista de Carvalho) of Brazil, who advocates on behalf of indigenous communities.
  • Front-Line Defenders, an Irish organization which works on the protection of human rights defenders.

All were announced on 25 October [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/10/26/laureates-of-10th-edition-of-un-human-rights-prizes-just-announced/], and celebrated at the ceremonial event on 18 December.

The SG emphasized that “their work, and that of other human rights defenders around the world, is essential for our collective efforts to sustain peace and ensure inclusive sustainable development and respect for human rights for all.”

https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/12/1028901

Laureates of 10th Edition of UN Human Rights Prizes just announced

October 26, 2018

On Friday 26 October 2018 the President of the UN General Assembly announced – in a rather summary and informal tweet:

“Today I announced the 2018 winners of the Human Rights Prize. I am proud to recognise the contributions of individuals & organizations that promote & protect human rights Joênia Wapichana Your work is an inspiration to us all “.

This is the tenth time that these awards were since the prize was established in 1968, coinciding this year with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. For more on this award: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/united-nations-prizes-in-the-field-of-human-rights

It is probably for that reason that one of the winners is the outstanding Ireland based NGO Front Line Defenders (regularly quoted in the blog, see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/front-line-ngo/). The Director Andrew Anderson promptly replies with: “Profoundly honoured that @FrontLineHRD has been named as one of 4 winners of the UN Human Rights Prize. We dedicate this to the courageous & dedicated human rights defenders we work to support.

Three other winners of the prize are

——–

https://www.newstalk.com/Irish-organisation-wins-United-Nations-Human-Rights-Prize

https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/high-court-tanzania-child-marriage/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joênia_Wapixana

Runners up for Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders 2016 announced

May 11, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped has announced that the finalists for its 2016 award are human rights defenders from Azerbaijan, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Honduras, Palestine, and Tanzania. For more information on the annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Riskhttp://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/front-line-defenders-award.

 

 

The 6 finalists for 2016 are Read the rest of this entry »

Goldman Environmental Prizes 2016 awarded to six activists

April 19, 2016

Six environmental activists from around the world received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco on 18 April 2016. This prize does not always go to human  rights defenders in the traditional sense of the word, but several well-known ones are among the recipients such as the recently killed Berta Carceres [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/exceptional-response-from-ngo-world-on-killing-of-berta-caceres/]. This year’s winners are:  Read the rest of this entry »

Ongoing police harassment against Imelda Urio and 35 other human rights defenders in Tanzania

November 23, 2015

With International Women Human Rights Defenders Day coming up (29 November) I will pay special attention to questions that concern them. Here a case of police harassment from Front Line concerning Tanzania:  Read the rest of this entry »

Journalists get training in Africa: examples from Tanzania and South Sudan

April 9, 2014

Like other people, journalists have personal interest in the rights that allow them to live in freedom and to be free from fear or oppression…” said Onesmo Olengurumwa, National Coordinator of  Tanzania Human Rights Defenders – Coalition (THRD-C).  He was speaking recently in Dar es Salaam at a 3-day seminar for journalists meant to train them in Security Management and Risk Assessment. Similar trainings will be conducted periodically to ensure journalists are equipped with the knowledge on how to best respond and tackle volatile and potentially dangerous situations. “Media owners, editors, journalists, human rights NGOs, community and the government should take security and protection issues for journalists much more seriously,” said Olengurumwa. He also reminded journalists that their personal behaviour, lifestyle and how they approach their work may place them at risk. “Investing on security management and protection for journalists should be undertaken by all media owners,”

Journalists, CSOs, Human Rights and CBOs representatives posing for a group photo during the two-day training on Human rights in NBGS. [Gurtong| Abraham Agoth]

group photo of training on Human rights in NBGS. [Gurtong| Abraham Agoth]

On 28 March 2014 Abraham Agoth in “Oye! News from Africa” reported that Journalists and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has completed a Human Rights Defenders training course organised by the Human Rights Protection and Civil Affairs Departments of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Speaking at the closing ceremony, the acting UNMISS state coordinator, Numa Shams urged the participants to apply what they learnt during the training in their daily work so that human rights abuses are minimized. “We hope this work will be incorporated into your daily activities of monitoring human right in your respective working locations and within your communities,” he said. I have seen your participation and commitments in this training. It clearly shows that you have learnt something and are eager to learn more,” said Mary Makelele, the director general in the state ministry of Information, “My appeal to everyone is that; do not take these skills for granted but instead use them to educate others.” During the training, it was generally observed that human rights have been mostly violated due to negligence and ignorance.

Journalists, CSOs Complete Human Rights Defenders Training | Oye Times.

Simia Ahmadi; defending the defenders

October 7, 2013

This blog tends to prioritize news on human rights defenders who are in trouble. This makes one overlook perhaps too often the contribution made by those who are working for the cause in other ways. To rectify I want to pay tribute to another woman who has  contributed enormously to the creation and growth of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders: Simia Ahmadi. After 20 years she is leaving the Board of the Foundation on 7 October, just before the 20th ceremony tomorrow.

In 1992 Simia was a young, upcoming human rights worker who had just finished an internship with the UN. To her great regret she never met Martin Ennals in person. Her main motivation was that an award could be effective and volunteered to help it being set up. After successful initial fundraising she was the part-time Secretariat in the first year.

1994 march Harry Wu first MEA Laureate

(Simia, left of first Laureate Harry Wu in 1994, Geneva)

After that, she worked several years for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Thereafter she was Programme Coordinator of the Legal and Human Rights Centre in Tanzania and from 2006-2009 she served as FIDH’s Representative to the UN in Geneva. After her move to Kenya in 2010, she served as the Chief of Party of the Public International Law and Policy Group in Kenya. Now she devoting her considerable energy to Kahesa, of which she is the Director-Founder and undertakes consultancy work such as evaluations KAHESA is a social enterprise that produces decorative and environmentally-sound paper through the employment of mentally-challenged Kenyans. Check out her www.kahesa.com and Facebook page: Kahesa paper

For being at the cradle of the MEA and making sure that the there is no grave for long time she deserve the deepest thanks from all especially Human Rights Defenders around the world.new MEA_logo with text

Tanzanian Human Rights Defenders organisation explains the work of local HRDs

March 5, 2013

In IPP Media of 5 March 2013 appears a lengthy piece by correspondent GERALD KITABU who interviewed the head of the NGO ‘Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition’ (THRD-Coalition) Mr ONESMO OLENGURUMWA on the protection of human rights defenders in Tanzania. It interesting to see such an article which demonstrates the depth of the Human Rights Defenders issue at the local level. Here follow a few quotes:

QUESTION:  Who is a human right defender? 
ANSWER: A human rights defender is any individual, groups and organs of society seeking to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and freedom. Human rights defenders include lawyers, judges, journalists, whistle blowers, bloggers, students, religious leaders, trade unionists and any other person working to combat human rights abuses in a peaceful manner.
Q: What is the current situation of human rights defenders in Tanzania?
A: Our organization has recorded a number of security incidents towards human rights defenders. Despite being change agents, these activists are continuously harassed, detained, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured and even at times  paying the ultimate price when they are killed for what they do. A good example is the last year’s killing of Iringa based Channel Ten journalist Daudi Mwangosi, the barbaric and brutal torture of Dr. Stephen Ulimboka, the death of Issa Gumba, the suspicious death of women human right defender in Mara Eustace Nyarugenda who was the director of Action Based Foundation, continuing constant threats towards other journalists like Cosmas Makongo, Josephat Isango, Charless Misango, the indefinite ban of Mwanahalisi and the arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders. These are just few incidents that paints a bad picture on the map of Tanzania when it comes to observing human rights….

Disabled Peoples International has special project for Human Rights Defenders

February 16, 2013

Disabled Peoples International (DPI) has a special Human Rights Defenders Project, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It aims to positively influence the lives of persons with disabilities in mainly five CIDA Countries of Focus that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD: Bangladesh, Jamaica, Peru, Tanzania and Ukraine.The Human Rights Defenders Project includes four components: (1) Institutional strengthening of five national member organizations to monitor the Convention (2) Development and the use of educational material to assist with the monitoring of the Convention (3) Publications,  promotion and networking related to the rights of disabled people, and (4) Data collection, reporting and monitoring related to disability issues.

via Human Rights Defenders: Disabled Peoples International.

Is Tanzania’s police restricting the freedom of assembly of HRDs?

February 23, 2012

Earlier this month, 16 prominent human rights activists were arrested in Dar es Salaam on the grounds of unlawful assembly. The human rights defenders were arrested at the Muhimbili National Hospital, where the police allege they had gathered illegally and were intending to hold an illegal demonstration, although the group maintained that they were merely going to observe the dialogue between the government and health officials.

Article 20 of the Constitution of Tanzania enshrines the right for people; “to freely and peaceably assemble, associate and cooperate with other persons”. However, as expressed in the constitution, this right can be limited by other national legislation for certain purposes, including ensuring public order or where it is in the public interest. The Police Force and Auxiliary Services Act forms part of the national legislation, which regulates public assemblies. This Act states that notification must be provided to the police 48 hours in advance of a planned public assembly. The police are given broad powers to prohibit the assembly if they believe it “is likely to cause a breach of the peace, or to prejudice public safety or the maintenance of public order”.

see: http://www.africareview.com/Opinion/Policing+public+demonstrations+in+Tanzania+gone+too+far/-/979188/1333258/-/fd5k6a/-/