Andrew Friedman

  • Shining The Light On Religious Freedom In Africa: Countries That Celebrate Diversity

    religious freedom in Africa By Andrew Friedman, 5:44 pm AFKI Original

    Sierra Leone takes religious tolerance seriously. Not only are relations cordial between the two main religious groups in the West African country, but it is not unusual here to be both Christian and Muslim. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are known as ChrisMus. “I see it as the same religion,” one of the faithful said, sporting a Jesus bracelet. “All of us say it’s the same god that we’re worshiping.” Overall, the country ranks as “partly free” for human rights compliance.

  • Eritrean Case Highlights Foreign Corporations’ Atrocities In Africa

    By Andrew Friedman, 3:00 am AFKI Original

    Late last month three Eritrean men filed a lawsuit in a Vancouver court against Nevsun Resources Limited. The lawsuit stemmed from allegations that Nevsun, a Canadian mining company, had used slave labor at its Bisha property, an industrial metal mine located in central Eritrea through its local contractor, the Segen construction company.

  • Violence Against Lawmakers Too Prevalent Across Africa

    By Andrew Friedman, 4:48 am AFKI Original

    It is becoming more dangerous to represent your country in Parliament. This is the biggest takeaway from the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s annual report on violence against Members of Parliament, “Human Rights Abuses of MPs – 2014,’ released earlier this month. According to the report, 311 members of parliament experienced violence in a total of 41 countries. This marked a 13 percent increase over 2013.

  • Is Nigeria At Risk Of Even More Violence?

    Niger delta militants By Andrew Friedman, 12:29 am AFKI Original

    Significant strides were made over the last half decade in stemming the ongoing insurgency in the Niger Delta. This has the potential to lead to greater oil revenue and an increased security atmosphere for residents and foreigners conducting business in the region. However, the gains made have a real potential to fall away due to what former insurgents are calling the government’s failure to live up to its promises, the plunging price of oil and thus oil revenue and a particularly contentious election coming in 2015.

  • South Africa Slides Down The Free Press Ladder

    By Andrew Friedman, 4:38 am AFKI Original

    It is rare to find a situation where Zimbabwean law is more aligned with international human rights norms and fundamental freedoms than its southern neighbor, however, with the recent decision upholding criminal defamation in Pretoria, South Africa finds itself on the wrong side of this divide.

  • UN’s 16 Days To Bring Attention To Gender Violence

    By Andrew Friedman, 5:56 am AFKI Original

    Women’s rights are human rights. This includes a right to be free from violence both within and outside of the home. The UN’s 16 days of Activism campaign is an attempt to remind the world that this fundamental problem still exists the world over.

  • Congo Takes First Important Step Against Gender Violence

    By Andrew Friedman, 5:03 am AFKI Original

    HRW’s Anneke Van Woudenberg documented many of the abuses and excesses of Kakwavu and wrote upon his conviction that what had stood out for her as she observed the region “was the fear of the parents of teenage girls. Kakwavu regularly ordered his fighters to go to local schools to find pretty young girls who he would sexually enslave for days or weeks. Parents who desperately tried to free their daughters were arrested or threatened. Parents stopped sending their girls to school, fearing for their safety.”

  • Gay Rights Remain A Legal Pain Across Africa

    By Andrew Friedman, 1:05 am AFKI Original

    In November eight people were arrested, detained and tortured in Gambia as part of a “crackdown on homosexuality”, while on the east side of the continent, Ugandan legislatures have promised to bring back an internationally reviled anti-homosexuality bill that, rather than explicitly referring to homosexuality uses the horrific euphemism “unnatural acts.”

  • Can Libya Remain One Country?

    Libya By Andrew Friedman, 6:14 am AFKI Original

    Just how chaotic has Libya become in the time since longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s bloody ouster in 2011? There is a real chance that in the coming months there will no longer be only one Libya. Since August, the country has been under the rule of two parliaments, both backed by militias. One formed after elections were held in June and one re-instituted after those elections.

  • Editorial: Will Robert Be The Last Mugabe To Lead Zimbabwe?

    By Andrew Friedman, 2:27 am AFKI Original

    As the end draws nearer for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s time in power, his wife, Grace Mugabe, has become part of the succession debate. Of the three potential contenders said to be likely Mugabe choices, one holds the support of the most powerful state institutions, one holds the support of the populace and one seems to hold nothing but a belief in the power of nepotism. Unfortunately, as Grace’s aggressive campaigning continues and her husband changes the rules allowing him to appoint his successor, it appears she may be right.