Good News for September 2014

Nigeria - Bundu Ama, Port Harcourt Community

On 12th Oct 2009, Nigerian Security Forces opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protestors. At least one person died but others said a pile of bodies were carted off on a truck.

For 5 years Nigerian authorities refused to investigate this shooting. Finally, after years of battling, a regional human rights court ruled that the Nigerian Security Forces committed human rights abuses.

On 10th June 2014, the court ruled that the Nigerian Government breached its obligation to respect the right to peaceful association and assembly. There was no justification for the shootings. The protestors have been awarded a total of 11 million Nigerian Naira in damages (US $70,000).

 

Uganda Gay Rights

The anti-gay law came into force in Feb 2014 but now this draconian law has been declared 'null and void'. It had extended punishments for gay marriage, 'promoting homosexuality' and 'aiding and abetting homosexuality'.

The judges ruled in favour of the activists, who argued that Parliament acted illegally when it passed the Bill in Dec 2013, as not enough MPs were in the room to vote.

 

Sierra Leone - Putting an end to FGM, July 2014 Summit

Communities in Sierra Leone have been taking huge leaps towards ending this horrific tradition. Women regretted ever supporting this brutal practice and are adamant thir daughters shouldn't suffer the same treatment. Male leaders also discussed how the community could solve this problem. Global leaders and activists also met in July 2014 at the Girl Summit in the UK.

Meanwhile, after discussions and negotations at a series of workshops run by AI and local organisations, the Sierra Leone community signed a Memorandum of Understanding banning FGM for girls under 18. Any woman over 18 has to give her consent before the procedure takes place.

Within 1 month, around 600 girls were saved from mutilation in the Masung Bala Chiefdom.

 

With thanks to our researcher, Pam Thickett

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