Vital Voices is incensed and heartbroken over the assassination of Joan Namazzi Kagezi, a talented prosecutor and passionate advocate for victims of crime. Joan served as Uganda’s Senior Principal State Attorney, in charge of the anti-terrorism and war crimes divisions of the public prosecutor’s office. I was proud to work with Joan during our February training in Rwanda at The Vital Voices Institute on the Investigation and Prosecution of Trafficking in Persons. Joan distinguished herself at that event as one of the brightest lights in Uganda working to illuminate the dark reality of human trafficking.
Joan was currently the lead prosecutor in the trial of 13 men accused of a deadly al-Shabab bomb attack in Kampala which killed 76 people. Joan has been silenced for her courage to seek accountability for those who flagrantly violate the law and for her desire to seek justice for victims of violent crimes.
Ugandan Police Chief Kale Kayihura has said, “The murder of Joan Kagezi should only serve to increase our resolve to hunt down and bring to justice all those elements bent on disturbing the security and development of our country.”
We at Vital Voices, and the thousands of women in our global network, mourn her passing. Uganda has lost a powerful voice, a committed public servant and a loving mother.
Cindy Dyer, JD
Vice President for Human Rights, Vital Voices