IHRDA offers fellowships to persons, usually qualified lawyers in their home countries who have a wealth of professional experiences.
Fellows at IHRDA stay for three months to a year and usually devote their time to research human rights issues and prepare specific cases to be brought before the ACmHPR and other complaint handling bodies within the African human rights system. Fellows also participate in other IHRDA programmes such as research and publication, capacity-building and advocacy.
Depending on the availability of funds of the specific fellowship, IHRDA covers fellows’ travel to and from The Gambia and provides a modest monthly stipend to cover their living expenses.
Ashu Hailshamy – Legal Fellow (Cameroon)
Ashu holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B-Hons) from the University of Buea, Cameroon and a Barrister-At-Law (B.L) Degree from The Gambia Law School. He was the most outstanding student of his batch where he received the best prize for Legal Drafting and Conveyancing and the prestigious Presidential Prize. He has been called to The Gambia Bar to practice as Barrister and Solicitor of The Supreme Court of the Gambia. Prior to joining IHRDA, he has been a youth activist for change in Cameroon, and one-time President of the University of Buea Students’ Union (UBSU) where he represented over 18,000 students. He has a passion for International Human Rights Law, legal practice and advocacy.
Maria Saine – Legal Fellow (Gambia)
Maria holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of The Gambia and a Master of Laws (General LLM) from Trinity College Dublin. From 2015-2018. Maria served as Programmes Manager for “Safe Hands for Girls” in The Gambia, an organization that works on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. She currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia.
She has a developing expertise in human rights law and constitutional law. She is committed to working on human rights and constitutional development in The Gambia, and strives to gain global experience to effect change in Africa and globally. She has a growing portfolio of skills and experience covering domestic human rights issues such as Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage. Her overall goal is to become a human rights lawyer working in research and pressing legal, human rights, and constitutional law issues for the benefit of vulnerable and marginalized groups both in The Gambia and beyond.
KINDE Damsou – Legal Fellow (Chad)
Damsou holds a Bachelor of Laws from Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh and Master of Laws from Abdelmalek Essaadi University of Tangier, Morocco. He also earned a Certificate in International Crime and Justice from the Joint Program of the United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and University of Turin, Italy. He is a prospective LLD Candidate in Human Rights from the Université du Quebec à Montréal, Canada.
Prior to joining IHRDA, Damsou worked as an Associate Legal Officer within the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (AUC) on legal matters. He also worked as an International Consultant/Junior Specialist with United Nations Development Program, Regional Service Centre for Africa under Governance and Peace-building Project. He has worked as a Law Clerk for Lambi Soulgan Law Firm, and as Teaching Assistant at the University of Moundou and Lecturer at some professional institutes in Chad.
Damsou’s career profile also includes working as a Legal Expert with the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission in Chad, and as a Legal Consultant with the Project of Renewable Energies in Chad.
His ambition is to become a human rights lawyer to better focus on the victims of human right violations in Africa and particularly in his country.
Agasha Tabaro – Legal Fellow (Uganda)
Agasha holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in International Law from University College London (UCL). Prior to joining IHRDA, Agasha gained research and advocacy human rights experience at Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) and Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), both national non-governmental organizations in Kampala, Uganda. Having a keen interest in international justice, she also served as intern in the Chambers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and continues to volunteer online with TRIAL International on their Trial Watch Project. Agasha is also knowledgeable in matters of extractives governance and the management of large donor-based development programmes having dealt with the same in Uganda and Tanzania.
She enjoys traveling, photography and yoga.
Wivine Kavira Buruthere (DRC)
Wivine holds an LLB in Internal and International Public Law obtained from Catholic University of Graben in Butembo, North-Kivu (DRC) and a Diploma of Applied Studies (DEA) in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law from the Regional Centre for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CERDHO) at Catholic University of Bukavu in South-Kivu (DRC). She is a human rights lawyer with over 10 years of experience, with particular interest in the rights of women and children. She has been involved in landmark cases on sexual violence in the eastern part of DRC. Wivine features on the roster for legal assistants to Counsels at the ICC in The Hague since 2014. She also teaches part-time in some institutions of higher learning in DRC. She equally serves as resource person in civil society seminars and colloquiums. Wivine has written and co-supervised many publications, research reports and scientific works for institutions and NGOs. She has worked with international organizations in the east of DRC and has participated in many training programs in and out of DRC. She is the focal point for many organizations that are passionate about justice in the DRC. Wivine speaks French, Kiswahili, Lingala and other national languages in RDC; she understands Castilian, Italia and a bit of English.
Mokhtar Hareck Beitoura – Legal Fellow (Mauritania)
Mokhtar is a Mauritanian who grew up in Dakar, Senegal, where he was repatriated to Mauritania in 1989 following a conflict. He is currently a PhD candidate in public law at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD), finalizing a thesis on the African human rights system, particularly the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Mokhtar holds a Master’s Degree in Public Law, International Relations, and several other degrees. He has an Advanced Diploma (DEA) in Human and Peace Law from UCAD, DEA in Public Law from the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences of the UCAD and a Master II in International and Comparative Environmental Law from the University of Limoge in France, (ULIM). He has acquired certificates from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg (IIHR).
Prior to joining IHRDA as a Fellow, Mokhtar had worked on the refugee problem in West Africa at RADDHO and at the WARIPNET Center, West Africa. He was also a trainee at the UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA) in the field of human rights education, before joining Amnesty International’s Regional Office where he worked on Human rights education, research and monitoring of issues such as freedom of expression, the problem of slavery in Mauritania and human rights defenders. He also worked on the issue of Boko Haram in Central Africa, mainly in Chad and Cameroon. Mokhtar equally spent some time at the regional office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, where he further worked on human rights issues, and contributed to analyse and contact partners in the implementation and follow-up of projects on slavery.
Simone Zagbo – Legal Fellow (Cote d’Ivoire)
Simone holds a Master in Business Law and a Bachelors Degree in Private Law obtained respectively from Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar Senegal and the University of Bouaké (now Université Alassane Ouattara) in Côte d’Ivoire.She held the post of Legal Officer and Manager in a private company in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, before developing passion for International Human Rights Law, which eventually inspired her to take internship at IHRDA. She aspires for a career as a human rights lawyer. Simone is particularly interested in the rights of women and children in conflict and crisis. She loves travelling and learning new cultures.
Lassana Diakité – Legal Fellow (Mali)
Lassana holds a Master’s Degree in Private Law, with specialization in legal practice, as well as a diploma from the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Bamako (Mali). Currently he is pursuing a Diploma of Advanced Studies (D.E.A) in International and European Human Rights Law. Lassana practises criminal law and is a regular member of the Mali Bar Association since 2010. He is an active member of Lawyers Without Borders in Mali (ASF-Mali). He was Coordinator of the project for legal support to underprivileged persons in illegal detention, which is a project being realized by the Association of Young Lawyers in Mali (AJAM) with funding from ‘Prisoner Without Borders’ – Mali (PRSF-Mali) and ‘Voice of Justice’. He is currently the General Treasurer of AJAM.
Esther B.A Ochoge – Legal Fellow (Nigeria)
Esther holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Jos and a Masters in Information Rights (LLM) from Northumbria University, Newcastle. She graduated from the Nigeria Law Schoo (Enugu Campus) in 2007 and is a member of the Nigerian Bar.
Esther is an advocate for freedom of information (FOI) as a tool for achieving transparency, accountability and good governance in Africa. She is also interested in Criminal Justice and wrote a critique on the role of punishment in the Nigerian Criminal Justice system for her undergraduate dissertation.
During her fellowship at the IHRDA, she worked with the legal team on the compilation of a Human Rights Manual for Law Enforcement Agents in The Gambia.
Penda Sowe – Admin and Finance Fellow (The Gambia)
Penda holds a Diploma and Advance Diploma in Banking and Finance acquired from the Management Development Institute (2008-2009), she has a Junior and Senior Secondary school leaving certificate acquired from Saint Augustine’s Junior Secondary School (2002- 2005) and Saint Joseph Senior Secondary School (2005-2008).She has the ambition to pursue a Bachelors degree in Banking and Finance hence, contribute to the advancement of banking.
She likes listening to music, watching TV, going to the beach and spending time with her family.
Watna Horemans (Cape Verde/Belgium)
Publications and Communications Fellow, IHRDA
Born of a Sao Tomean mother and a Belgian father, Watna has lived with his family for several years in different places (Cape Verde, Italy, Burundi and Benin) and attended high school in Cotonou. Watna holds a double Masters degree in Political Science from Université Libre de Bruxelles and in Human Rights Law from Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis. His studies are an expression of his concern for political issues, the consequences they have in the societies we live in and the means to improve them, and remains committed to work in defending and promoting human rights. A veritable polyglot, Watna is fluent in his native French and Portuguese, as well as English, Spanish and Italian, and speaks some Dutch. Watna has previously collaborated with Amnesty International francophone Belgium section and interned at IHRDA in 2011 for 6 months on the CLA project.
Elizabeth Kumbong Amaazee (Cameroon)Publications and Communications Fellow
Ms Amaazee holds an M.A. in Translation. She graduated from the University of Yaounde I in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Bilingual Studies (English-French). She passed the competitive entrance examinations into the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters (ASTI) of the University of Buea, Cameroon, in November 2007. As part of her studies, she did six weeks internship in the Ministry of Justice in Cameroon and was later selected for a six months internship in the Court Interpretation and Translation Section of the International Criminal Court at The Hague. She does freelance translation, terminology, editing and interpretation. She is a volunteer for doCip (Indigenous Peoples’ Center for Documentation, Research and Information) based in Geneva- Switzerland. She has published an article on ‘The Impact of Globalization on Fundamental Perceptions of Colours and Culture in African Societies’ published in TRANS (an online journal). Her interests include cinema, fashion, cooking, music and dancing.
Malick Jallow – Legal Research Fellow (Gambia)
He worked as a Legal Intern for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone (2008) where he focused on legal research and analysis, for the Appeals Chamber of the Court, on issues pertaining to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law.
In July 2010, Mr Jallow was awarded a fellowship by the European Union to work with the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. At the ICC, he focused mainly on Victims’ Rights before the court, first with the Immediate Office of the Registrar and later with the Office of Public Counsel for Victims.
He has served his country as a State Prosecutor at the Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Justice of The Gambia (2010 and 2011) where he was primarily responsible for giving legal advice to the State and prosecuting criminal matters before the subordinate courts.
In October 2011, Mr Jallow was chosen to serve as Chairperson of a Taskforce and assist in implementing recommendations for Reform of the Juvenile Justice System in The Gambia.
He has publicly spoken and written to promote Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.This is Malick’s second stint with IHRDA having previously worked here in 2011 as a Trial Monitor.
Mr Jallow is a Muslim.
Cases developed during previous fellowships
In 2009, IHRDA hosted Nicole Odia and Serge Lukunga, two (2) fellows from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They will be developing cases from Katanga Province on:
- 393/10 IHRDA, Action contre l’impunité pour les droits humains (ACIDH) & Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID) v DRC; alleging gross human rights violation in the town of Kilwa in October 2004 [Read more about the case];
- Alleged forced evictions in Kisiba, Katanga province in 2005.
With the generous support of the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) IHRDA hosted in 2008 Simon M Weldehaimanot [Eritrea], who developed and filed the following case.
- 349/07 Simon Weldehaimanot / Eritrea; on the right to free movement, and right of citizens to leave their own country
Otto Saki from Zimbabwe and Steve Kafumba from Malawi attended their fellowship in 2004 and worked on three cases:
Sabelo Gumedze, from Swaziland, developed the following communication and did substantial research on citizenship rights in Africa during his fellowship at IHRDA.