Ushari Mahmud

Colby College’s Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights in Waterville has announced a fall lecture series, which will open with a presentation by 2002 Oak Human Rights Fellow Ushari Mahmud. On Thursday, September 12, Mahmud will present “Taunting Danger: The Joy and Tribulation of Defending Human Rights in Sudan.” The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 0l of the F.W. Olin Science Center. It is open to the public and free of charge.

On Thursday, September 19, Urban Jonsson, director of UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office in Nairobi and a colleague of Mahmud, will present “A Human Rights Approach to Development Programming.” The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 0l of the F.W. Olin Science Center. It is open to the public and free of charge.

Mahmud, a 54-year-old from Sudan, has risked his life helping children and internally displaced populations affected by armed conflict in his home country. For the past 15 years Mahmud has worked to document and protest human rights abuses in Sudan and has been held in preventive detention for two years and banned from travel for seven years. He is regularly defamed in Sudanese media and attacked by top government ministers and officials because of his advocacy against slavery. For the past six years Mahmud has worked with UNICEF for the protection of children in government and rebel-controlled areas and in the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office.

Mahmud is the fifth Oak Human Rights fellow, following human rights activists who had risked their lives on behalf of child laborers in Pakistan, civil society in the Democratic Republic of Congo, indigenous and peasant groups in Colombia, and women and children war victims in Kosovo. To learn more about the Oak Institute visit its Web site at www.colby.edu/oak.

Editors Note: Ushari Mahmud is available for interviews as of September 3 by contacting him directly at 207-872-3842 or by contacting the Oak Institute at 207-872-3813. The photo of Mahumd above can be downloaded for press purposes or contact Alicia MacLeay (anmaclea@colby.edu or 207-872-3220) for a copy.