XXe HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A THREAT
Maputo, 8 Nov (AIM) – The General Director of the Mozambican government’s Legal and Judicial Training Centre (CFJJ), Elisa Boerekamp, declared on Monday that human rights defenders should not be seen as a threat to any institution.
Instead, she insisted, they should be regarded as collaborators in ensuring the good governance of the country.
Boerekamp was speaking at a ceremony in Maputo launching the project “promotion of human rights in a business environment and the performance of the judiciary in northern Mozambique”. This project is run jointly by the CFJJ and the prominent civil society body, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
“The defenders of human rights must not be viewed as a threat”, declared Boerekamp. “They must be seen as an arm of society, which is contributing to democratization and good governance”.
People who offer to become defenders of human rights should enjoy respect for their work, she added. That work should be defended by everyone, particularly those who have the constitutional duty to guarantee order, security and respect for the fundamental rights of citizens.
The Executive Director of the CDD, Adriano Nuvunga, said that often the quality of law suits involving human right defenders is very poor, which he regarded as a deliberate attempt to “punish” this group of activists.
“So the question is how we, as a Project, have to defend the rights of human rights defenders – their right to exist, to do their work, and to continue where that work is most necessary in defending the right of communities to develop”, said Nuvunga.
The Swedish Embassy is financing the project to the tune of 12 million meticais (about 188,000 US dollars at the current exchange rate). The project will be implemented in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula.
(AIM / AIMENG)