Janet Cherry

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Janet Cherry - Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

"Janet Cherry is a South African human rights activist, trainer and academic. She is currently a senior lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, in the Department of Development Studies. She is also a trainer for the Centre for Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) based in Belgrade, Serbia. She has been involved in research for, among others, the Human Sciences Research Council (Democracy and Governance Programme), the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the International Centre on Human Rights Policy (Geneva).

"She has a Ph.D. in Political Sociology from Rhodes University. Her main areas of research are human rights, democratic participation, social history, gender and development. She has a history of human rights and development activism, including involvement with the Anti‐War Coalition, the End Conscription Campaign, Amnesty International, the Black Sash, IDASA, NUSAS, the UDF and the ANC." [1]

Janet Cherry "was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, and became politically active while studying at the University of Cape Town. She was involved in the Wages Commission, doing support work for independent black trade unions, and in worker education and adult literacy programs. In 1982, she was recruited into the African National Congress (ANC) underground. Then in 1983, she was elected general secretary of the National Union of South African Students, an organization committed to the advancement of human rights. At that time, she was involved in the formation of the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), an organization dedicated to ending military conscription in South Africa’s racist society...

"In August 1986, Janet was detained once again by security forces, this time for eleven months. While in prison, she studied for her honors degree in African economic history. After her release in 1987, she took a post with the Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa. She was arrested again without charges in 1988, and released with no explanation a few months later. She was released, however, under house arrest, which meant she could not leave her house after six in the evening, she could not leave the city of Port Elizabeth, and she was banned from communicating with the press. In spite of the efforts to suppress her work, Janet remained dedicated to ending conscription and apartheid in South Africa.

"Today, Janet is a lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Port Elizabeth, and continues to be involved in human rights issues with Amnesty International." [1]

She appeared in the movie A Force More Powerful. [2]

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  1. Janet Cherry, ICNC, accessed April 9, 2010.