Nicholas Opiyo (Uganda)
Nicholas Opiyo is a leading human rights lawyer and founder of Chapter Four Uganda, an organization that provides research, advocacy, and outreach services to influence laws, policies, and practices in the interest of civil liberties and human rights. Since 2005, Opiyo has worked tirelessly to promote civil liberties in Uganda, often on pro bono.
Opiyo has worked on a broad range of critical human rights issues in Uganda and was a key leader in drafting and advocating for Uganda’s law criminalizing torture. In his practice, he has a diverse clientele, including anti-corruption and pro-democracy activists, and social media activists charged with offending the president. He has successfully argued several high-level constitutional challenges, including the fight against the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2013, which was declared null and void in August 2014.
Opiyo was awarded the 2017 German Africa Prize, as well as Human Rights Watch’s 2015 Alison Des Forges Award. He is part of the inaugural EU Parliament Shakarov Fellows prize recipient in 2016. He has also received various awards and commendation including the Commendation of the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco in 2015 for his dedication to the defense of human rights of LGBQ individuals.