On behalf of DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) and AfricanDefenders (Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network), I express my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and human rights fraternity of the late Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, who passed away on 30 September 2020. Professor Woldemariam...

Today is International Day for Universal Access to Information. Citizens have a right to know what is going on in their countries - especially during the COVID-19 pandemic it is crucial to have access to reliable information. Information is increasingly shared online, making digital space...

Originally published by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) meeting at its 66th Ordinary Session, held virtually from 13 July to 7 August 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia: Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human...

Today is #PeaceDay2020. September is also #AfricaAmnestyMonth. 80% of all small arms in Africa are in the hands of civilians – almost four times as many as state actors. And small arms cause more deaths than bombs, grenades or mines in Africa – the more...

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Strengthening Collaboration between Universities and Civil Society in Africa

Academic institutions play a crucial role in fostering peaceful activism, which is especially crucial as civic space is shrinking across the globe and human rights defenders (HRDs) continue to face threats and repression. In this context, AfricanDefenders hosted a webinar on strengthening collaboration between universities and civil society in Africa. The webinar brought together academic institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs), and HRDs from within and outside Africa to explore opportunities for collaboration and exchange best practices. This was the first step towards developing concrete plans for collaboration and creating a platform for continuous exchanges.

More from the Secretariat

  • Hassan Shire, the chairperson of AfricanDefenders and Executive Director of DefendDefenders, joined the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’Rights in delivering an opening statement at the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 66th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR66), calling on Member States of the African Union to build the Union, which is people-centered and based on genuine commitment, and political goodwill in order to achieve a peaceful continent, an equal and just society in Africa;
  • AfricanDefenders also made the following oral submissions at the ACHPR66:
  • Hassan Shire, called on the Guinean government to respect the judicial process in the country and release the activist , Saikou Yaya Diallo. Mr. Diallo has been illegally detained for over two months despite two court-issued release orders;
  • AfricanDefenders, DefendDefenders and more than 40 partners released a statement urging States to support the renewal of the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi ahead of the UN Human Rights Council’s 45th session;
  • AfricanDefenders joined the voice of over 40 civil society organisations and human rights and legal experts in calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect, Beatrice Mtetwa’s , a human rights lawyer, freedom of expression and the right to practice her profession, after Zimbabwean Magistrates’ Court decision to disqualify her from continuing as defence legal counsel for journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who is being tried for “ inciting public violence” after exposing a corruption scandal. The statement was featured in local online news publications Today News Africa and Pindula News;
  • AfricanDefenders and other civil society organisations released a statement calling for the release of Nigerian Singer Yahaya Sharif Aminu who was convicted and sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a song he published. The statement was highlighted by online publications PUNCH and PMNews
  • Together with our partners, AfricanDefenders released a statement of solidarity with the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, calling on the Tanzanian government to respect the organisation’s freedom of association and to unfreeze their bank accounts to enable them to continue with their legitimate human rights work;

Did you know all the episodes of our podcast series “Exile Shall Not Silence Us”, on African human rights defenders in exile are out?

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  • On international youth day 2020, AfricanDefenders and Defend Defenders highlighted the work of five young outstanding Sudanese activists who shared their views on youth representation in human rights activism
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