Egypt’s independent human rights community at risk

logo_euromedEuromed Rights is a network of more than 80 human rights organisations, institutions and individuals based in 30 countries in the Euro-Mediterranean. The network develops and strengthens partnerships between NGOs, disseminates human rights values, advocates for them and increases the capabilities of local partners in this regard.

In a joint statement with several international Human Rights NGOs Euromed Rights warns against the complete eradication of Egypt’s independent human rights community. On Saturday 17 September the Cairo Criminal Court ruled the asset freeze to five Human Rights defenders and three NGOs. All finances and programmes are to be handed over to government officials, giving them control their activities and full access to their records and database, including files related to victims of human rights violations. The statement indicates the recent attacks as “part of a larger crackdown, not only on human rights defenders, but also on the media, trade unions and peaceful protesters, which will further worsen the ongoing closure of the public sphere and of civil society space.”

See also the campaign to support imprisioned human rights activists in Egypt.

Silvanos Mudzvova abducted and tortured

mudzvovaThe 38-year-old theatre artist and activist from Harare (Zimbabwe) has been arrested in April this year for staging his play “Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share”.  Mudzova was abducted by six armed men from his home late in the evening on 13 September 2015. They drove him out of the capital city and brutally tortured him.  “They targeted me as I am responsible for the creative side of a movement called Tajamuka and was also acting as its spokesperson” Mudzvova told Freemuse from his hospital bed. The group Tajamuka has been involved in calling into question various governmental measures over, among other things, policing, unemployment, the country’s cash crisis and an accounting of the $15 billion President Mugabe recently said went missing from mining operations. The group is also in the final stages of submitting an application to the International Criminal Court addressing cases of abduction and political violence.

Sources: Freemuse, Daily News (Harare, Zimbabwe), News24


Book: How Free is Free? Reflections on Freedom of Creative Expression in Africa

howfreeisfree25 Authors, 14 Countries: The e-book was produced as part of the Artwatch Africa project that aims to defend freedom of creative expression on the continent, and who better than the artists themselves to share their creative environment, their questions and their experiences. Themes like freedom of artistic expression, subversive art and political responsibility of artists are discussed.
English version can be downloaded for free at Arterial Network, French will follow soon.

Source: Arterial Network

Update: Jelili Atiku cleared of charges

On Monday the 18th of July 2016, Nigerian performance artist Jelili Atiku (see ACAR blog entry from February 5) , poet Adeola Goloba and 4 others regained their freedom as the Ejigbo Magistrate Court struck out all criminal charges instituted against them by the Nigerian Police. According to a press release by Ayodele Ganiu, National Coordinator for the Arterial Network Nigeria, Atiku’s release, “is a victory for artistic freedom; not only in Ejigbo or Lagos State, but the whole of Nigeria. It shows immense progress for freedom of expression in the country.”

Sources and details: Arterial network, Artafrica