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Omot Agwa Okwoy

Omot Agwa Okwoy

HRD, Pastor

Omot Agwa Okwoy is a church leader in Ethiopia’s Gambela region and a human rights defender who works to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and people living in the Gambela region. He works against the degradation of land in rural parts of Ethiopia and advocates for the establishment of national parks. Omot Agwa Okwoy also works for the rights of indigenous people living in rural villages in Gambela near the South Sudanese border, who are often caught in the bloody conflict between Ethiopian and South Sudanese ethnic groups, which has resulted in killings and child abductions.


In Ethiopia, human rights defenders (HRDs) work in extremely difficult conditions marked by threats, acts of intimidation, restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly, judicial harassment, and arbitrary arrests. Repressive legislation passed in recent years has been successful in silencing civil society. Severe restrictions on external funding continue to undermine the work and effectiveness of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Several human rights defenders and journalists were forced to flee the country and those who remained practised self-censorship for fear of attack or harassment.