Nicholas Opiyo is honoured with the German Africa Award 2017
(© German Embassy Kampala)
This year‘s German Africa Award goes to Nicholas Opiyo. The civil rights advocate is awarded for his exceptional effort and dedication for defending rule of law and political liberty in Uganda.
37-year-old Nicholas Opiyo ranks among the major Ugandan voices for constitutional order and rule of law in an increasingly autocratic setting. The founder and head of “Chapter Four Uganda” is an outspoken and prominent defendant of political participation as well as for the constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Expression, Press and Assembly.
As one of the lawyers for the petitioners against the anti-homosexuality law of 2013 (which stipulated life imprisonment) he played a substantial role in the annulment by the Ugandan Constitutional Court. In a number of prominent court cases, he has defended successfully and with great personal dedication political activists, human rights groups and media representatives. Currently, Nicholas Opiyo is again in the spotlight in the ongoing debate about Freedom of Expression in Uganda. He is defending Makerere university lecturer Dr. Stella Nyanzi, who has been in prison since April 10th for allegedly “insulting and harassing” the President of Uganda.
For his relentless and courageous work, he will now be awarded with the German Africa Award, for which he has been selected by an independent expert jury. The festive ceremony will take place in November this year in Berlin and the award will be conferred by a leading representative of German politics. The acting German Ambassador Petra Kochendörfer, thanked him in Kampala for his tireless commitment in the defence for constitutional rights in Uganda.
Since 1993, the German Africa Award is bestowed by the German Africa Foundation
and honours annually 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.