Human rights defenders

18 November 2014

Emergency in DR Congo: protect human rights defenders

Kinshasa, DR Congo – Supported by ASF, the Congolese civil society is reiterating the urgent need to continue efforts, in collaboration with national authorities, to strengthen the legislative frameworks for the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs). Created one year ago, the follow-up Committee of national strategies for the protection of HRDs recently presented its action plan on this issue.

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9 September 2014

The Manirumva case must move forward

Bujumbura (Burundi) – ASF calls on the Burundian justice system to put an end to the many irregularities which have been blocking progress for over a year in the Ernest Manirumva murder case. This call follows the fifth postponement on 4 September of the Burundi Supreme Court hearing to review this landmark case. While this trial continues to be bogged down before the highest court in the country, the family of Ernest Manirumva, a great defender of human rights, and the NGO where he worked, the Anti-corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (OLUCOME), are persevering in their pursuit of justice.

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3 July 2014

Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa’s trial must be fair

Bujumbura – On the day before Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa’s trial, ASF is calling on the courts of Burundi to operate in strict compliance with laws and with full respect for its independence. President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Incarcerated Persons (Association pour la protection des droits humains et des personnes détenues, APRODH) in Burundi, Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa faces serious charges stemming from actions carried out as part of his work. ASF supports the lawyers defending this prominent defender of human rights. He is accused of endangering the internal and external security of the State, as well as forgery and using forged documents

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1 July 2014

Armed groups threaten human rights defenders

Uvira (East of the Democratic Republic of Congo) – In a region where armed groups continue to commit grave human rights violations, defend human rights of former child soldiers is a high-risk activity. For example, two human rights defenders (HRDs) have been violently attacked by armed men in the office of their NGO. This incident refers to the often precarious working conditions in sensitive areas. In this context, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) contributes to the set up of support and protection measures for threatened or attacked HRDs.

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28 May 2014

How to protect human rights defenders?

Interview of Dominique Kamuandu, the ASF International Justice Programme Coordinator in Congo, who recently spoke at a forum devoted to supporting and protecting human rights defenders (HRD) in Brussels.

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27 February 2014

“Giving legal aid is like giving hope”

Promoting free legal aid is paramount in supporting access to justice for people living in vulnerable situations. Avocats Sans Frontières, in partnership with the Uganda Law Society, is mobilizing lawyers to defend the basic rights of Ugandans. Akello Suzan Apita is one of the 16 lawyers engaged in this endeavor.

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21 December 2013

“We are caught between a rock and a hard place”

President of a human rights defence association, Rénovat Ninahazwe is a Burundian human rights defender at risk. As a result of serious threats, he has had to leave his country, finding temporary refuge in Uganda with the help of Avocats Sans Frontières. He and his family are being taken care of in the context of a programme for the protection and defence of lawyers and other human rights defenders threatened during the exercise of their profession. This is his story.

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19 December 2013

Access to justice on the post-2015 agenda

Avocats Sans Frontières, along with fellow human rights organisations all over the world, has called for the post-2015 development agenda to be embedded with a human rights framework to ensure both sustainability and justice. Especially important for ASF is the emphasis on the role of access to justice as a human right that guarantees all other human rights.

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15 November 2013

Why is justice without borders?

Who better to respond to this question than ASF’s Heads of Mission and Regional Representatives, based in different countries worldwide. They have gathered for ten days of intensive briefing at ASF’s headquarters in Brussels and they share their views about the core of the organisation’s mandate: the defense of human rights.

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24 July 2013

human rights defender south kivu drc congo

Being a lawyer, a high-risk profession

Whether they are members of civil society organizations, lawyers or media professionals, human rights defenders have a common objective: promote and protect human rights. They are often confronted with attempts to limit their work such as threats, harassment, and sometimes torture or even murder. That is why ASF and the East Africa Law Society are implementing actions of support and protection for HRDs in five African countries.

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