WRITTEN INTERVENTION – THE OBSERVATORY
51st typical session
Banjul, The Gambia
April 18 – May 2, 2012
the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
and a World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
Within a horizon of their joint programme,
The Observatory for a Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Under bulletin item:
“Situation of tellurian rights defenders”
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and a World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in a horizon of their corner programme, the Observatory for a Protection of Human Rights Defenders, demonstrate their deep concern per a measures of nuisance and reprisals faced by tellurian rights defenders in Africa given of their pacific activities of graduation and protection of tellurian rights.
Over a past 6 months, a Observatory has continued to observe that domestic and authorised contexts surrounding tellurian rights defenders’ activities have remained utterly antagonistic and have mostly been used by authorities as pretexts to adopt odious measures: electoral contexts, armed conflicts, movements of amicable criticism injured by critical tellurian rights violations and acts of hang-up targeting tellurian rights defenders, odious laws, etc.
In addition, distant from recognising tellurian rights defenders as a main actors for change and as a guarantors of a giveaway society, governments continue to control any activity of a polite multitude and tellurian rights defenders, multiplying hindrances or authorised record opposite their legitimate activities. Therefore, several tellurian rights defenders in Africa continue to face a series of obstacles during legislative, judicial, or executive levels, in order to permit their tellurian rights activities.
Human rights defenders are also subjected to assaults, nuisance or various forms of threats. While they are mostly targeted by non-State actors, acts of assault opposite them are utterly mostly tolerated, speedy or even directly perpetrated by State agents, in sold by confidence army supposed to strengthen them. The continued parole prevalent for authors of tellurian rights violations in several countries of Sub-Saharan Africa has contributed to fuel the cycle of assault faced by tellurian rights defenders.
Violations targeting possibly their earthy or psychological integrity (disappearances, assassinations, threats, assaults, defamation) or their freedoms (arrests, capricious detention) are perpetrated in blatant defilement of international tellurian rights standards. Moreover, certain categories of human rights defenders, given of a inlet of a rights they mount for, are privileged targets of repression.
The Observatory also wishes to remember that a team-work between national and general organisations is a cornerstone of a international human rights insurance system. On Mar 15, 2012, a United Nations Special Rapporteur on a Situation of Human Rights Defenders, along with the Rapporteurs of a African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and of a Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), urged all States, through a corner statement, to put an finish to any kind of threats or acts of harassment opposite people or organisations concerned in a approach dialogue with these institutions.
In some countries of a continent, a authorised complement is utilised, manipulated by a authorities to permit tellurian rights defenders activities. Such criminalisation customarily takes a form of capricious authorised proceedings, which infrequently lead to violent sentences. Besides, a legislative framework criminalising tellurian rights defenders’ activities continues to be in force, or develops. Judicial record faced by tellurian rights defenders infrequently last several years, so inspiring their integrity to successfully do their activities. The inlet of such phenomena is really concerning as these institutional and legalized attacks blatantly violate a many basic international tellurian rights insurance standards.
a) Criminalisation of tellurian rights defenders fighting against impunity
On a African continent, tellurian rights defenders fighting against impunity and disapproval violations, including a many critical international crimes, are targeted by attempts to criminalise their actions. Such criminalisation is generally triggered by a deficient, infrequently corrupted, judicial system.
In Algeria, Mr. Mohamed Smain is during risk of imminent arrest to offer his two-month seizure judgment after carrying been subjected to a continued authorised nuisance for some-more than 10 years. In 2001, Mr. Smain had alerted a Algerian media about a find and a exhumation of mass graves by a services of a gendarmerie and by members of a militia of Mr. Hadj Fergane, a former mayor of Relizane. This is some-more generally because of a activities of Mr. Smaïn in Oran and Relizane in foster of the families of left persons and given of his activities for truth regarding a violations committed in Algeria, generally during a civil conflict that scorched a republic in a 1990s, that a latter has been targeted by a domestic and authorised authorities. Already convicted in first instance and in appeal, a Supreme Court of Algiers, by a preference issued on Oct 27, 2011, found Mr. Smain guilty underneath charges of “calumnious denunciation” and “denunciation of hypothetical crimes” and condemned him to two months’ imprisonment, to a excellent of 50,000 Algerian dinars (about 510 Euros) and to 10,000 Algerian dinars in indemnification for any of a plaintiffs. Late February 2012, on a basement of this decision, troops services were systematic to detain Mr. Smain by a Prosecutor General of Relizane.
During a duration covered, several tellurian rights defenders were also subjected to capricious detentions and astray authorised proceedings, nonetheless were however means to be released, transparent or discharged, infrequently following an independent authorised process.
For instance, in Chad, on Dec 30, 2011, Mr. Daniel Deuzombé Passalet, President of a tellurian rights organization “Human Rights Without Borders” (Droits de l’Homme sans frontières – DHSF), was found not guilty, as he benefited from a “reasonable doubt”, following an 11-day pre-trial detention. These record followed his matter done on December 18, 2011 on Radio France Internationale (RFI) about a abduction of the wife of a late encampment control of Mataléré. Through a interview, Mr. Passalet had denounced a deterrent of a examination into a assassination of this encampment control in Sep 2011, and a fact that a widow of a latter would have been kidnapped by confidence army to forestall her from withdrawing a complaint for “false accusation”, that she had lodged opposite a political opposition personality and parliamentary representative, Mr. Saleh Kebzabo, regarding her husband’s assassination. The Prosecutor had motionless to sue him for “calumnious denunciations”. Although a liberate of Mr. Passalet contingency be welcomed, it illustrates a authorised nuisance faced by tellurian rights defenders when their open statements do not greatfully member of internal or national political authorities.
In Egypt, bloggers Alaa Abdel-Fatah and Bahaa Saber were arrested on Oct 30, 2011, after they denounced a violent repression of a criticism in Cairo that had led to a genocide of 27 persons, and were indicted of “instigating assault opposite a armed forces” and “assault against troops agents”. Although Mr. Saber was expelled on a same day of their arrest, Mr. Abdel-Fatah remained incarcerated until Dec 25, 2011. Similarly, it is usually on Jan 21, 2012 that blogger Maikel Nabil was released following an leisure expelled by a Supreme Council of a Armed Forces on a initial anniversary of Egyptian Revolution. The latter had been arrested on March 28, 2011 for allegedly “insulting a army” and “disseminating false information” after he had denounced tellurian rights violations that had occurred during a Egyptian Revolution, and had afterwards been condemned on Apr 10, 2011 to two years’ imprisonment.
In Guinea, 5 members of a organization “Same Rights For Everyone” (Mêmes droits flow tous – MDT), focusing on detainees’ rights, were placed in control and expelled on Nov 3, 2011. Those arrested were Mr. Foromo Frédéric Loua, President, Mr. Tossa Montcho, Coordinator, Mr. Pierre Camara, Programme Supervisor, Mr. Boniface Loua and Ms. Fatouma Bangoura, insurance assistants. All of them had left to the executive troops hire of Conakry to accompany a release, systematic on November 2 by a Attorney General before a Appeal Court, of dual individuals detained but settlement given 2001 and 2005. While in apprehension throughout the afternoon and evening, they were lengthily questioned per cases they had been lifting and about MDT activities. Following their capricious detention, the 5 defenders lodged a complaint. On Nov 30, 2011, a Tribunal of First Instance of Conakry found a administrator of a capital, Commander Sekou Resco Camara, guilty of wrong penetration into authorised record and sentenced him to a excellent of one million Guinean Francs (108 Euros) in foster of the MDT President, and to one excellent of one mystic Franc in foster of a other members. The Observatory welcomes this authorised preference which, in annoy its mainly mystic character, outlines a initial certain step for an enhanced protection of tellurian rights defenders opposite hindrances, threats or intimidations they accommodate in a practice of their functions, and some-more generally for a liberty of a Guinean judiciary. Nevertheless, a Observatory deplores a threats faced by MDT and a sourroundings surrounding a hearings. Indeed, a conference probity was evenly invaded by supporters of the governor, including several policemen both in plain-clothes and uniforms. The latter invariably showed their support to a administrator by noisy interventions and steady acclamations during his declarations. Furthermore, MDT members and their lawyers were subjected to several written threats and physical intimidations. They were blamed by policemen for being “villains not deserving to live” and these policemen betrothed that a “last word” would be theirs. Some of a troops officers also announced that, now that they knew Messrs. Frédéric Loua and Tossa Montcho, “they would uncover them how a country is governed”. Furthermore, during a finish of a conference conference on Nov 23, 2011, an critical organization of policemen and troops agents, surrounding a governor’s vehicle, headed to a building where a MDT offices are located, yielding “Enemies: zero! NGO: zero!” while they were indicating during a building assigned by MDT.
In Zimbabwe, Mr. Joel Hita, Regional Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) in Mavingo, was transparent on January 23, 2012 by Judge Mwanisa of Masvingo jurisdiction, after small less than dual years of authorised harassment. He had indeed been prosecuted given April 26, 2010, after he had organized an vaunt in a horizon of a programme to foster suspicion about a 2008 domestic violence, in crack of a Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Independent reporters who tell information addressing human rights violations or malign them in line with a really inlet of their profession are also subjected to attempts to overpower them, in sequence to prevent them from openly disapproval a exactions committed by State authorities.
Thus, in Burundi, on Nov 14, 2011, Messrs. Bob Rugurika and Bonfils Niyongere, reporters for a Radio publique africaine (RPA), spent a whole day in a Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bujumbura, before being expelled after approximately twelve hours of questioning. This occurrence would be directly associated to a promote by RPA of information about a Gatumba slaughter, that resulted in 39 people passed and to 40 wounded, on Sep 18, 2011, in a city of Mutumbuzi. The day before, a Editor-in-chief of Isanganiro radio, Mr. Patrick Mitabaro, had also been summoned. On Nov 8, Messrs. Bob Rugurika and Patrick Nduwimana, Editor-in-chief of Bonesha FM, had to present themselves before Bujumbura Public Prosecutor. The Prosecutor blamed a radios for carrying disclosed some information on a Gatumba slaughter, including the testimony of a categorical suspect, Mr. Innocent Ngendakuriyo alias Nzarabu, gathered by phone from Bubanza prison. Those elements would have been disclosed despite the bureaucratic matter of Sep 21 that bans a media from creation any commentary on a investigation, and in a context where a examination report had not nonetheless been published. On Nov 10, 3 private radio directors were summoned: Messrs. Patrick Nduwimana, Eric Manirakiza, RPA Director, and Vincent Nkeshimana, Isanganiro Director, were asked to yield a Prosecutor with papers about their statutes, their internal rules of procession and a proofs of appropriation of their radios. They all refused to approve with a Prosecution’s request, that had unsuccessful to give any justification to both this serve and request. Furthermore, intimidations aiming at stopping a reporters from sportive their contention openly sometimes come from a top bureaucratic authorities. On Nov 16, 2011, the Minister of Communication, Ms. Concilie Nibigira, stated, in a minute referring to a investigations into a Gatumba slaughter, that any chairman who disclose, in a media or by other means, elements on a box that is still during a pre-trial investigation theatre exposes him/herself to charge as set out by Article 11 of a Law of Nov 27, 2003 controlling a press in Burundi (addressing the exceptions to a leisure of distribution and proclamation of documents). The Minister finished her minute by propelling a media to equivocate escalation, otherwise they would have “to assume consequences in correspondence with applicable provisions of a Criminal Code”.
b) Criminalisation of human rights defenders who practice their right to leisure of peaceful assembly
In several countries, meetings and gatherings organized by human rights defenders are used as pretexts to impede their actions. In this framework, women defenders are utterly unprotected to gender specific violence. Protest actions associated to approved reforms, to giveaway and transparent elections, to mercantile and amicable claims, including an increasing honour of workers’ rights, are mostly met with hang-up in annoy of their peaceful character. Human rights defenders, NGO members, trade unionists, journalists, students’ kinship leaders, can therefore be utterly targeted given of their participation in, or their monitoring of, a good control of these gatherings. Thus, over a duration covered, several tellurian rights defenders were prosecuted on charges of “disturbing open order” or “participation in an insurrectional movement”.
In Djibouti, members of a Djiboutian League for Human Rights (Ligue djiboutienne des droits humains – LDDH) are subjected to constant harassment when a criticism is organized by a race or in propinquity to past demonstrations. Thus, on Feb 1, 2012, Mr. Farah Abadid Heldid, LDDH member and publisher for La Voix de Djibouti, was arrested by agents of the Section of Research and Documentation (Section de recherches et de documentation – SRD). He was expelled on a rubbish land a following day, after carrying been subjected to utterly spiritless treatments (torture, forced nudity…) and threatened with genocide in a march of his detention because of his activities as a tellurian rights activist. He had already been arrested on Feb 5, 2011, following a criticism organized on a same day by both university and high propagandize students to malign a preparation policy carried out by a government, before being expelled on bail on Jun 23, 2011. As of Apr 13, 2012, Mr. Jean-Paul Noël Abdi, President of LDDH, remained prosecuted on charges of “participation in an insurrectional movement” under Articles 145 and 146.4 of a Criminal Code, that set out maximum sentences of 15 years’ rapist seizure and a excellent of 7,000,000 Djiboutian Francs (approximately 27 222 Euros). Similar charges are still tentative against Mr. Abadid Heldid. These accusations are associated to a above-mentioned protest of Feb 5, 2011.
In Cameroon, 7 trade unionists were subjected to an almost one-year-and-a-half-long authorised nuisance in propinquity to a sit-in. Thus, Mr. Jean-Marc Bikoko, President of a Public Sector Central Trade Union (Centrale syndicale du secteur public – CSP), Mr. Maurice Angelo Phouet Foe, Secretary General of a Autonomous National Education and Training Union (Syndicat inhabitant autonome de l’éducation et de la formation – SNAEF), Mr. Théodore Mbassi Ondoa, Executive Secretary of the Cameroon Federation of Education Unions (Fédération camerounaise des syndicats de l’éducation – FECASE), Mr. Joseph Ze, Secretary General of a Unitary National Union of Teachers and Professors (Syndicat national unitaire des instituteurs et professeurs des écoles normales – SNUIPEN), Mr. Eric Nla’a, CSP accountant, and Messrs. Nkili Effoa and Claude Charles Felein, SNUIPEN members, were prosecuted underneath charges of “organisation of an wrong demonstration” and “disturbing open order”. These proceedings followed their detain on Nov 11, 2010, during a sit-in called for by CSP in front of a Prime Minister’s offices, in Yaoundé, in sequence to deliver to a Prime Minister, Mr. Philémon Yang, a chit done by public services workers for a courtesy of a Head of State, Mr. Paul Biya, addressing a required alleviation of operative conditions in Cameroon. The CSP had told a authorities a goal to organize a protest, as supposing by Article 6 of Law n°990/055 on a Regime of Gatherings and Protests. On November 8, 2010, a Deputy Prefect of a district of Yaounde III had expelled a letter banning a activists from protesting, arguing that “public demonstrations with a vengeful and/or protesting impression are and shall sojourn taboo in the District of Mfoundi”. However, according to Article 8 of this really same law, a protest can usually be taboo by a by-law expelled by a prefect, as a deputy prefect does not suffer a authorised ability to do it. The Observatory welcomes the judgement of a Court First Instance of Yaoundé expelled on Mar 5, 2012, which acquitted all 7 trade unionists.
In Algeria, in annoy of a lift of a state of emergency, trade unionists continue to be targeted by an heated hang-up aiming at limiting their freedoms of countenance and assembly. On Feb 26, 2012, 40 members of a National Workers’ Committee of Pre-Employment and Social Net (Comité inhabitant des travailleurs du pré-emploi et filet social), affiliated to a National Autonomous Union of Public Servants (Syndicat national autonome des personnels de l’administration publique – SNAPAP) were thus arbitrarily arrested during a proof staged in front of a Maison de la Presse in Algiers. Among them were Ms. Malika Fallil, Chair of the National Workers’ Committee of Pre-Employment and Social Net, and Mr. Tahar Belabès, Spokesperson of a National Coordination for a Defence of the Rights of a Unemployed (Coordination nationale de défense des droits des chômeurs – CNDDC). They were expelled a few hours later. This kind of arrests has turn memorable in Algeria where trade unionists are subjected to an roughly permanent troops and authorised pressure. Both Ms. Fallil and Mr. Belabès had already been arrested on Feb 22 during a entertainment that took place in front of a Palais des Expositions in Algiers, where they had attempted to question a Minister of Labour and a deputy of a President of the Republic, Mr. Belkhadem Abdelaziz, about a rights of impoverished and casual workers. Both had already been subjected to a series of identical arrests in 2011, together with other kinship activists. Moreover, Mr. Hadj Aïssa Abbas and Mr. Mohamed Bouamer, member of a CNDDC bend in Laghouat, 400 km south of Algiers, were condemned on Jan 18, 2012 in initial instance to one year in jail for “gathering in a open place”, after carrying taken partial in a peaceful entertainment in foster of a rights of impoverished workers in Aug 2011 in Laghouat. The preference was expelled by a Tribunal of Laghouat in deficiency of the accused, who had perceived no summons and who lodged an appeal. Such harsh sentences send a transparent and unfortunate summary to kinship leaders and tellurian rights defenders job for a approval of a right to decent vital and working conditions.
In Senegal, Mr. Alioune Tine, Coordinator of a June 23 Movement (Mouvement des army vives de la republic du 23 juin – M23) and President of a African Assembly for a Defence of Human Rights (Rencontre africaine flow la défense des droits de l’Homme – RADDHO), was arrested on Jan 28, 2012, in greeting to a organization of a protest denouncing a proclamation of a candidacy of a effusive President for a third mandate. At a domain of these protests, a troops auxiliary had been killed. Mr. Alioune Tine was eventually expelled on Jan 31, 2012, without charges.
In Zimbabwe, members of Women and Men for Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), an organization concerned in a counterclaim of women’s rights and freedoms in Zimbabwe, have been constantly tormented during authorised and troops levels. On January 19, 2012, 17 WOZA members, including 16 women, were arrested and molested by troops officers in Bulawayo. The troops officers even threatened the activists to “remove their panties and kick their bottoms”. On Feb 7, 2012, ten members of a association, including Ms. Jennifer Williams, National Coordinator, were arrested while they were participating in a peaceful demonstration in Bulawayo to commemorate a 10th anniversary of the association. Initially incarcerated for carrying organized a proof without prior presentation of a authorities (Section 25 of a POSA), they were eventually charged with “criminal nuisance” underneath Section 46 of a Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. All were afterwards expelled on bail tentative trial, and denounced a acts of earthy assault they postulated while in custody. The lawyers motionless to ask to a Supreme Court for review, and a decision should be expelled on Apr 27, 2012. Besides, dual WOZA members, Ms. Jennifer Williams and Ms. Magodonga Mahlangu, have been prosecuted given December 2011 for “kidnapping” and “theft” following a proof organized on September 21, 2011. Despite a miss of justification and contradictions in the witness statements, a charges opposite them have never been dropped. The next hearing is to take place on Apr 26, 2012.
In Tanzania, sixteen tellurian rights defenders were arrested on February 9, 2012 following an “unlawful assembly”. Those arrested enclosed Dr. Helen Kijo Bisimba, Executive Director of a Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), LHRC staff members, Mr. Marcus Albany, Ms. Anna Migila and counsel Godfrey Mpandikizi, an novice from a Canadian Bar Association Ms. Erin Riley, a Executive Director of a Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) Ms. Ananilea Nkya, a Executive Director of SIKIKA Mr. Irenei Kiria, as good as Ms. Anna Kikwa. All were arrested as they arrived during a National Hospital (MUHIMBILI), where a Prime Minister Mr. Mizengo Pinda was to residence health staff in propinquity to a national strike organized by doctors. Although they were expelled on bail, as of April 12, 2012, a charges brought opposite them had however not been dropped, yet implying a permanent risk of detain opposite them.
In Mauritania, Mr. Bakary Bathily, Secretary General of the National Trade Union of Mauritanian Students (Syndicat inhabitant des étudiants de Mauritanie), left on Feb 2, 2012, when the authorities vigourously dispersed, by a use of truncheons and tear-gas, a sit in organized by several students in front of Nouakchott University to demand the alleviation of their tyro conditions. Besides, thirteen students were arrested and questioned on Mr. Bakary Bathily’s whereabouts, nonetheless a latter did not attend in a sit-in, before being expelled but charges on February 9. As of Apr 16, 2012, no information could be performed concerning Mr. Bathily’s whereabouts.
c) Reprisals opposite tellurian rights lawyers
In some countries, a activities of lawyers are hindered by the authorities. Indeed, either they yield a authorised assistance to defenders or support directly victims of tellurian rights violations, they might be subjected to reprisals given of their veteran activities.
For instance, in The Gambia, Mr. Lamin K. Mboge, a lawyer and former probity who has also been concerned in a authorised counterclaim of two women tellurian rights activists, was condemned on Feb 21, 2012 for “making false papers but authority”, “false swearing” and “uttering false documents” to dual years’ seizure and forced work by a Tribunal of Banjul.
In Zimbabwe, Mr. Alec Muchadehama, a counsel who represented several victims of abduction and torture, who had been transparent on December 10, 2009 following groundless charges tentative opposite him given May 6, 2009, stays subjected to authorised harassment. He is indicted of carrying impaired the repute of a probity and of probity by carrying available a recover on bail of his clients. On Feb 15, 2012, a Supreme Court deferred sine die the decision to concede a Public Ministry represented by Attorney General Johannes Tomana to interest a exculpation of Dec 10, 2009. The Attorney General argued that her late ask to board an interest was due to her family issues.
Aside from sold threats potentially inspiring tellurian rights defenders, a operative structures they go to are directly targeted by hindrances, and infrequently by authorised odious provisions, per in particular a practice of leisure of association. This dissuasive legal framework leads to several restrictions during several levels:
- On a one hand, a pieces of legislation controlling the registration of polite multitude organisations may, while implemented, restrain both their liberty and independence. Thus, manners per registration procedures for NGOs have infrequently been used to judicially harass these organisations or to repudiate a agreement to supposed unfortunate organisations or trade unions.
In The Gambia, for instance, NGOs register on a basement of a two-tier system. First, they register as charities with a Attorney General’s Chambers underneath a Companies Act. This allows them to work as authorised entities, and also provides singular entrance to avocation waivers. Then, they register as NGOs with a NGO Affairs Agency (NGOAA), that submits them to a Code of Conduct and to a Protocol sealed with a authorities. Subsequently, in sequence to avoid reprisals from State authorities, NGOs select to concentration on issues that are deemed not supportive and on that a supervision is creation swell such as women and children’s rights. In this context no NGO can lift out any monitoring of tellurian rights violations.
In Egypt, several organisations, nonetheless distinguished ones, are still denied, but accurate grounds, any official registration.
- On a other hand, a inhabitant legislative horizon restraining NGOs appropriation resources, such as frozen of assets, was also used as a meant to negate a ability of movement of some NGOs.
In Ethiopia, for instance, given a Charities and Societies Act of 2009, NGOs receiving some-more than 10 percent of their appropriation from foreign sources, even from Ethiopian vital abroad, sojourn strictly taboo from exercising activities related, among others, to tellurian rights and democracy. This is underneath these resources that, on Oct 24, 2011, a Federal High Court inspected a preference of a Charities and Societies Agency to solidify the assets of a Human Rights Council (HCRO). HCRO appealed this preference before the Supreme Court.
In Egypt, several raids were conducted in a offices of several inhabitant and general NGOs and questioned a staff of these NGOs about a coercion of several financial restrictions in perspective of restraining the ability of NGOs to do their mission. Following these raids, 43 employees of American and German NGOs were summoned to probity on Feb 26, 2012, on accusations of carrying illegally non-stop offices in Egypt and having received appropriation from abroad. Beyond these foundations, NGOs themselves are targeted by these acts of intimidation, in sequence to clamp down on their activities.
In The Gambia, rapist laws are infrequently disfigured to wrongly accuse tellurian rights defenders and impede a normal functioning of their associations. Thus, Dr. Isatou Touray and Ms. Amie Bojang-Sissoho, respectively Executive Director and Programme Coordinator of The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting a Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), an organization operative on passionate and reproductive health and rights of women and children, have been prosecuted for “theft” given November 2010, for a purported piracy of 30,000 Euros, an volume sent in 2009 by “Yolocamba Solidaridad”, a Spanish growth NGO ancillary internal civil society groups. Jan 11, 2012 noted a 41st conference of this trial. Throughout a proceedings, a Prosecutor categorically denounced a activities of GAMCOTRAP in terms of genital mutilation. As of Apr 16, 2012, hearings were ongoing, with a inquire of Dr. Isatou Touray by the Prosecutor.
Repressive legislation privately targeting defenders of a rights of passionate minorities
The defenders of a rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, together with a persons they defend, have continued to face, in many sub-Saharan African countries, several forms of influence and intimidation. Laws or bills criminalising passionate minorities in many countries also impede a work of defenders.
In Uganda, a law criminalising homosexuality was again submitted to Parliament on Feb 7, 2012. This text, if enacted, would reintroduce into a Ugandan Criminal Code a idea “crime of homosexuality”. The foreseen sentences would operation from 5 years’ seizure for “promoting homosexuality” to a probability of a life seizure judgment or even death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. This content directly targets a movement of human rights defenders as it states that any NGO violating these provisions would see a central permission to act cancelled. One has to remember that homosexuality is already exceedingly restricted by a existent Criminal Code as it provides life seizure for anyone indicted of same-sex passionate relations. The draft law submitted to Parliament would minister to enhance and strengthen the repression in a form of capricious arrests, earthy and psychological violence and an increasing marginalisation of LGBT village members over a country. One has to remember that in 2011, Mr. David Kato, LGBT rights defender, was assassinated following a recover of his name and design in a Ugandan media.
Aside from legislative and authorised threats opposite militant activities, tellurian rights defenders are subjected to other forms of intimidation, outside of authorised ways: threats, insult campaigns, assaults and even assassinations. Moreover, a meridian of parole that prevails in several countries of a continent contributes to a bolster of a violence cycle.
a) Ongoing parole for a assassination of several tellurian rights defenders
On a continent, assassinations and other violations tellurian rights defenders’ right to life and earthy integrity remain an awful reality, all a some-more as they generally sojourn unpunished. The lack of liberty of certain inhabitant authorised systems prevents victims and the tellurian rights organisations that paint them from receiving probity and breaking a cycle of violence, therefore enlivening a duration of new acts of violence.
Thus, a full sequence of rapist shortcoming has not nonetheless been established in a assassination:
- in a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in 2010, of Messrs. Floribert Chebeya Bazire, President of Voice of a Voiceless (Voix des sans voix – VSV) and a member of OMCT General Assembly, and Fidèle Bazana, a member of VSV, as good as in 2005 of Mr. Pascal Kabungulu Kibembi, Executive Secretary of a NGO “Heirs of Justice” (Héritiers de la justice);
- in Burundi, in 2009, of Mr. Ernest Manirumva, Vice-President of a Anti-Corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (Observatoire de lutte contre la crime et les malversations économiques - OLUCOME);
- in Uganda, in Jan 2011, of Mr. David Kato, advocacy officer within a organization Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG);
- in Kenya, in 2009, of Messrs. Oscar Kamau King’ara, a lawyer and Chief Executive Officer of a Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic Kenya (OFFLACK), and John Paul Oulu, OFFLACK Communications and Advocacy Officer;
- in The Gambia, in 2004, of publisher Deyda Hydara, as well as in a enforced disappearance of publisher Ebrima Manneh since 2006.
b) Ongoing threats and assault opposite tellurian rights defenders
During a duration covered, new acts of assault were committed against tellurian rights defenders.
Thus, in a DRC, Mr. Mbatswe Mushunju, a member of the “Legitimacy Core” (Noyau de légitimité) in Kibati, of a Research Centre on Environment, Democracy, and Human Rights (Centre de recherche sur l’environnement, la démocratie et les droits de l’Homme – CREDDHO) and customary control of a Kibati group, in North Kivu, was murdered on Mar 15, 2012. Mr. Mushunju was disapproval and documenting several tellurian rights violations committed, among others, by agents of a Armed army of a DRC (Forces armées de RDC – FARDC) in a segment adjacent Rwanda. Threatened several times over 2011, he had already been abducted by FARDC members from December 15, 2011 to Jan 5, 2012.
Still in a DRC, Ms. Justine Masika Bihamba, Coordinator of a Women’s Synergy for Victims of Sexual Violence (Synergie des femmes flow les victimes des violences sexuelles – SFVS) and Vice President of a Civil Society of North Kivu (Société civile du Nord Kivu), was threatened on Mar 15, 2012. Those threats followed the interview she had given a day before to BBC radio, in that she had welcomed a International Criminal Court (ICC) statute expelled a really same day against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, found guilty of fight crimes for recruitment, enlistment, and use of child soldiers in Ituri. She had, on a same occasion, urged a ICC and a Congolese authorities to exercise a warrants issued against a other purported authors of grave crimes carried out in a Eastern DRC, in sold General Bosco Ntaganda. Following this interview, General Ntaganda and other FARDC colonels would have designed actions to “silence” her. In addition, on Mar 27, 2012, Ms. Masika Bihamba perceived an anonymous threatening summary by phone, that settled a following: “Justine Masika, stop meddling in things that are nothing of your business”.
In Algeria, Mr. Noureddine Belmouhoub, Spokesperson of the Committee for a Defence of a Former Interned of Safety Camps (Comité de défense des ex-internés des camps de sûreté – CDICS), was abducted on October 23, 2011, in a travel of Algiers, and hold in an different plcae for three days by members of confidence services, before being expelled on Oct 26, 2011. During his detention, he was subjected to both insults and pressures
Posted on April 27, 2012, in AFRICAN NEWS, ETHIOPIA ENGLISH, WORLD NEWS and tagged Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Algeria, Human Right, Human rights defender, Radio France Internationale, United Nations Special Rapporteur, World Organisation Against Torture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.