Civil rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo receives German Africa Award 2017 for championing freedom of expression

One of Uganda’s human rights lawyers, Nicholas Opiyo, has been awarded the German Africa Award for “his exceptional effort and dedication for defending rule of law and political liberty in Uganda.”

The German Africa Award, bestowed by the German Africa Foundation, honors outstanding personalities that have made an exceptional contribution to democracy, civil rights, rule of law and culture on the African continent. Last year’s laureate was South African Public Protector Thulisile Madonsela, who received the award from the President of the German Parliament, Norbert Lammert.

Mr Opiyo, who is the founder and executive director of civil liberties organisation Chapter Four Uganda, was lauded for standing up for constitutional order and rule of law in Uganda. A statement from the German Africa Foundation added that he is recognised for being “an outspoken and prominent defendant of political participation as well as for the constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Expression, Press and Assembly … In a number of prominent court cases, he has defended successfully and with great personal dedication political activists, human rights groups and media representatives.”

Mr Opiyo is currently defending Makerere university lecturer Dr. Stella Nyanzi, who is charged with “insulting and harassing” the President of Uganda.

The German Africa Award will be conferred in November this year in Berlin.

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