Natural Justice has learnt with much regret that our partner under the umbrella Inclusive Green Economy Network (IGEN-East Africa) – AFIEGO – have six of their staff arrested in what is now becoming a common occurrence looking at the previous arrests.
“The arrest of six activists from the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) is a worrying trend of environmental activists and defenders coming under fire in Uganda. AFIEGO, Natural Justice and allies are currently challenging the East Africa Oil Pipeline – the longest heated oil pipeline in the world. It runs through indigenous territories and sensitive biodiverse areas. It is clear that organisations opposing this pipeline are being banned, and staff are being harassed and arrested. It is Africa’s standing rock moment. With the upcoming COP26, leaders need to deal with the reality that multinational companies, financiers and governments conspire against the interests of people and the planet because of profits and corrupt practices, including the illicit flow of funds. Global solidarity is crucial for this David versus Goliath battle, which sees frontline activists trying to stop the destruction of the environment and those curtailing the rights of indigenous and local communities in Africa.”, said Natural Justice Executive Director, Pooven Moodley
We call upon all individuals and organizations that champion environmental and human rights to stand with AFIEGO and push the government of Uganda to operate within the law. Please click here to read the statement from AFIEGO.
“The arrest of the six AFIEGO staff is of great concern. It’s another case of silencing voices that are speaking up for the environment and human rights. It is not the first time their staff or an individual associated with their work on East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is arrested. AFIEGO’s statement released today gives a detailed account of tactics that look like intimidation because of their work on EACOP. We read mischief into these arrests, and as members of Inclusive Green Economy Network – East Africa (IGEN-EA), we’re worried by this trend. All freedom-loving people and organisations must speak clearly against harassment of environmental and human rights defenders. This strikes very close because environmental and human rights defenders are attacked here in Kenya and, like Johannah Stutchbury, killed. In the words of our Nobel laureate, Prof. Wangari Mathai, “Human Rights are…things you fight for and then protect.” Let’s not wait until there’s no one left to speak.”, said the East Africa Hub Director, Nyaguthii Chege.