Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Former Uganda Radio network and The Independent journalist Agather Atuhaire is a proud recipient of the EU Human Rights Defenders Award 2022 for being a consistent human rights defender.
Speaking at the awards ceremony held on Thursday, Jan Sadek, the EU Ambassador to Uganda said the winners of this annual award are recognized for engaging in several works including documenting violations, seeking remedies for victims, providing legal, psychological, and medical support as well as combating cultures of impunity which serve to screen systematic and repeated breaches of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Sadek said Atuhaire has recently expressed courage in fighting for the rights of others when she initially stood up against the unexplained failing of students attending a bar course at the Law Development Center.
The journalist cum lawyer has also taken on the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC) over poor service delivery in addition to keeping a keen eye on the operations of parliament, which has many times pitted her against Speaker Anita Among and more recently Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in parliament over budget issues.
Her activism has mostly been done on social media. When receiving the award, Atuhaire said she has had to endure assault and threats to her life because of activism.
She said in her activism against LDC, she ruled out going to court because she knew it would not yield anything for the thousands aggrieved but wanted to expose them for all Ugandans to know.
This award was first given in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness of the work being done by human rights defenders and as a way of recognizing their courage and determination, often in very difficult circumstances. Last year, lawyer Primah Kwagala received this award for her contribution to providing legal assistance to vulnerable women.
This year, eighty-eight people were nominated for the award from whom three were shortlisted including investigative journalist Solomon Serwanjja and Gay Rights Activist, Richard Lusimbo.