News from AfricanDefenders | July & August 2022 

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Ubuntu Hub Cities initiative launched in Praia, Cabo Verde.

“Lusophone human rights defenders (HRDs) now have a place to relocate when they are at riskI thank the government of Cabo Verde for opening their country to HRDs at risk.” 
-Hassan Shire, Chairperson of AfricanDefenders and Executive Director, DefendDefenders

AfricanDefenders and DefendDefenders in partnership with Organização para o Desenvolvimento Integral da Família ( ODIF) officially launched the eighth Ubuntu Hub City in Praia, Cabo Verde. This was after a feasibility study was conducted in which Praia was recommended as the most suitable host for the initiative. The feasibility study analyzed the legal system, democratic indicators, political system, and social indicators of Angola, Mozambique, and Cabo Verde. Cabo Verde was found to have a strong respect for the rule of law and fundamental human rights, a favourable immigration system for citizens coming from Lusophone-speaking countries and the best indices of political and democratic stability among other factors.

The event saw the participation of several critical African human rights and state actors including:
  • Hon. Prof. Remy Ngoy Lumbu, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Defenders and Focal Point of Reprisals;
  • H.E. Joana Gomes Rosa Amado, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Cape Verde;
  • Hon. José Carlos Delgado, Ombudsman of the Republic of Cape Verde;
  • Hon. Carmen Nancy Ferreira Martins, President of the National Assembly’s Special Commission for Human Rights;
  • Ms Zaida Morais de Freitas, Chair of the National Human Rights Commission of Cabo Verde; 
  • Hon. Francisco Carvalho, Mayor of the City of Praia; 
  • Hon. Mayors of the city of Santa Cruz, Sao Domingos, Santiago; and
  • Mr Ignacio Sobrino-Castello, Representative of the European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Cabo Verde; and
  • Civil society representatives from various municipalities of Cabo Verde

We encourage all human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk in Africa to apply for protection under our Ubuntu Hub Cities programme. You can visit our website at to apply for support or send us an email at [email protected].

More from the Secretariat

Bilateral meetings with stakeholders in Cabo Verde

While in Cabo Verde, the AfricanDefenders and DefendDefenders delegation, led by Hassan Shire, met with several stakeholders to discuss the smooth implementation of the Praia Ubuntu Hub City including possible areas of synergy in protecting and promoting the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) across Africa.
We joined 31 civil society organisations and 27 international and regional civil society actors in condemning the cowardly act of threatening the physical integrity of leading social activist, Professor Adriano Nuvunga, Director of the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Read our joint statement
Ahead of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC51), we joined DefendDefenders and 53 other non-governmental organisations in calling on the Council to renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Burundi.


International Youth Day

On International Youth Day, DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders created awareness of the intergenerational gap between the older and younger HRDs and how this gap can be bridged




We launched the #ArtistsAsHRDs campaign which explores the vital role artistic HRDs play in promoting and protecting human rights in Africa. The campaign also explores some of the challenges artists’ HRDs face and how the featured artists’ HRDs navigate some of these challenges to remain resilient in their human rights work. The campaign features artists’ HRDs from South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Check out the campaign
We co-organised a training with the Tunisian League of Human Rights Defenders (LTDH) for Algerian and Tunisian lawyers and HRDs to create synergies and connect them to access African human rights systems. The training had a particular focus on how to access the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights

From our members

 North Africa

  • The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) published a joint statement calling on the Egyptian government to cease the judicial harassment of journalists, bloggers, online content creators who are critical of the government; and
  • Following the suspension of Decree 286/2019 issued by the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya, CIHRS published a statement welcoming the suspension. Decree 286/2019 regulated the operation of the Civil Society Commission calling into question Libya’s respect for the right to freedom of association with state interference.

West Africa

  • Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (ROADH) published a joint statement welcoming Burkina Faso’s state authorities opening a case to investigate the killings of HRDs Cissé Fahadou and Balima Hama in 2019.

East and Horn of Africa

Meet Issah Musundi DefendDefenders’ HRD of the month of July

Southern Africa

Following the killing of Lindokuhle Mnguni, the chairperson of the eKhenana Commune and one of the frontline leaders of Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (Southern Defenders) published a statement condemning the gruesome act and calling on the South African authorities to carry out an impartial investigation into the killing. Lindokuhle is the third person from the eKhenana Commune to be killed in 2022.

Do not miss!

The East Africa Women Human Rights Defenders Network has published its call for new members from Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, and Djibouti.Apply by 23 September 2022!
Learn more

Recommended Reading!

Read Defenders Coalition report on the Status of Human Rights Defenders on the brink of the 2022 August General Elections in Kenya

For more information, please contact :

Hassan Shire, Chairperson AfricanDefenders: [email protected]

Joseph Bikanda, Coordinator AfricanDefenders: [email protected]

About AfricanDefenders

AfricanDefenders (the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network) is a network of five sub-regional organisations, national coalitions for human rights defenders, and individual defenders, dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights defenders across the African continent. 
Discover more at