In newly published report, ISHR and four partner organisations assess China's lack of implementation of human rights commitments from its 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The report details the government's diverse strategies to silence and repress human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists.
In the spirit of the Addis Ababa Road Map between Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, we, the undersigned African and international civil society organizations, express our deep concern on the situation of human rights defenders in detention in Burundi.
On 9 December 2020, as we celebrate International Human Rights Defenders’ day, we are urging Special Procedures Mandate-Holders to take necessary measures to engage in dialogue and raise this issue with the Burundian government. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders currently unjustly detained, as a sign of goodwill and reconciliation by the President H.E. Ndayishimiye.
In particular, we express deep concern on the cases of Germain Rukuki, Nestor Nibitanga, and the 4 journalists of the media house Iwacu, Egide Harerimana, Christine Kamikazi, Térence Mpozenzi and Agnès Ndirubusa. They should never have been arrested, and their detentions violate the principles and guidelines on the right to a fair trial and legal assistance in Africa, proclaimed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights according to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
We further call on you to urge the Burundian government to:
- Reinforce their commitment to the independence of the justice system, as outlined in the ACHPR resolution (i) 412 (LXIII) 2018.
- Ensure fairness of Germain Rukuki’s new appeal hearing proceedings in open trial; and to allow trial monitoring and observation by physical presence.
- Act upon the ACHPR resolution 412 (LXIII) 2018 which urges the Burundian authorities to:
- (i) Respect, protect and guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in accordance with the Constitution of Burundi and the country’s international obligations, including by respecting the principles of the rule of law;
- (iiv) Release all persons who have been arbitrarily detained, in particular human rights defenders, including by strictly respecting the relevant applicable procedures.
- (viii) Cooperate with all international community stakeholders, including the African Union, the United Nations and the East African Community, in the search for a peaceful and human rights responsive solution to the crisis situation in Burundi.
- Agir ensemble pour les droits humains (AEDH)
- Action for Rural Women Empowerment (ARUWE)
- Action et Aide pour la Paix (AAP)
- Affirmative Action on Gender Equality (AGEN)
- Agape Aids Control Program
- Alerte Congolaise pour l’Environnement et les Droits de l’Homme (ACEDH)
- Anti-corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory (OLUCOME)
- Arche d’Alliance (ARAL)
- Association Burundaise pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (APRODH)
- Association d’actions de Paix et de Développement Communautaire (APADEC)
- Association des Femmes Juristes du Congo (AFEJUCO)
- Association des Journalistes Burundais en Exile (AJBE)
- Association pour la Coopération et l’Auto-Developpement (ACAD)
- Association pour le Développement des initiatives paysannes (ASSODIP)
- Blessed Aid
- Building inclusive society Tanzania organization (BISTO)
- Bunge Mashinani initiative
- Centre pour l’Éducations, Animation et Défense des Droits de l’Homme (CEADHO)
- Civic and Legal Aid Organization (CiLAO)
- Christian Education and Development Organization (CEDO)
- Coalition Burundaise des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CBDDH)
- Coalition Burundaise pour la CPI (CB-CPI)
- Coalition de la Sociéte Civile pour le Monitoring Electoral (OSOME)
- Collectif des Femmes Journalistes (CFJ)
- Collectif des femmes pour le développement intégral et consolidation de la paix (COFEDIP)
- Congrès Africain des Journalistes (CAJ)
- Defenders Coalition Kenya
- Defend Defenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
- Door of Hope to Women and Youth Tanzania.
- FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- Forum des organisations nationales des droits de l’homme (FONAHD)
- European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
- Fédération internationale des ACAT (FIACAT) and the following ACAT (Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture):
- ACAT Belgium
- ACAT Burundi
- ACAT Canada
- ACAT Central African Republic
- ACAT Chad
- ACAT Congo
- ACAT Cote d’Ivoire
- ACAT France
- ACAT Germany
- ACAT Italy
- ACAT Switzerland
- ACAT UK
- Forum pour la Conscience et le Dévelopment (FOCODE)
- Forum pour le Renforcement de la Societe Civile (FORSC)
- Genre Actif pour le Devenir meilleur (GAD)
- Global Alliance for Justice
- Groupe d’Association de défense des Droits de l’homme et de la Paix (GADHOP)
- Haki Africa
- Héritiers de la Justice (HJ)
- Independent Medico- Legal Unit (IMLU)
- Initiative Alpha (IA)
- Initiative congolaise pour la justice et la paix (ICJP)
- Institut pour la Protection et l’Apprentissage des Droits (IPAD)
- International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
- Jumuiya ya Kulinda na Kutetea haki za wanawake na watoto (JUKUWAM)
- Jumuiya ya Maendeleo ya Elimu ya Watoto Pemba (JUMAEWAPE)
- Jukwaa la Katiba Tanzania (JUKATA)
- League Burundaise des Droits de l’Homme “Iteka”
- Mouvement des Femmes et Filles pour la Paix et le Developpement (MFFPS)
- Mouvement Inamahoro, femmes et filles pour la paix et la sécurité
- Mutuelle des Femmes Paysannes pour le Développement et la Santé en Afrique (MFPDSA)
- Nguruka Development Agency (NDA)
- Observatoire de Lutte contre la Corruption et les Malversations Economiques (OLUCOME)
- OMCT (World Organisation Against Torture), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
- Organization of Journalists against Drug Abuse and Crimes in Tanzania (OJADACT)
- Organisation pour la Transparence et la Gouvernance (OTRAG)
- Partenariat pour la protection intégrée (PPI)
- Pemba Environment and Malaria Control (PEMCO)
- Protection International
- Protection International Africa
- Réseau des Citoyens Probes (RCP)
- Réseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et de Justice (RRSSJ)
- Save the mother and children of central Tanzania
- Solidarité féminine pour la Paix et le développement Intégral (SOFEPADI)
- Synergie des femmes pour la Paix et la Réconciliation des peuples des Grands Lacs (SPR)
- Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC)
- Tournons la Page
- Tournons la Page-Burundi
- Tanzania Legal Knowledge and Aid Centre.
- Tanzania Network of Women Living with HIV
- Tanzania Peace Legal Aid and Justice Centre (PLAJAC)
- Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum
- Tunduru Paralegal Centre (TUPACE)
- Union Burundaise des Journalistes (UBJ)
- Wote Initiative for Development Empowerment
Photo credit: Google/Protection International
During each ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘The African Commission’), Commissioners present their activity reports which provides an overview of the work done in between two sessions. On 23 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and Focal point on reprisals presented his report.
On the last day of the NGO Forum, a panel was organised to officially launch the newly established Lusophone Platform for Human Rights in Africa.
In compliance with Article 62 of the African Charter, States have the obligation to report every two years on the legislative, administrative and political measures taken with a view to give effect to human rights guaranteed by the Charter. Despite the challenges of conducting the sessions online, it doesn't prevent the African Commission from holding States accountable to their human rights obligations.
The passage of a human rights defender resolution by the Third Committee of the GA by consensus, with 85 co-sponsors, is another important step in ongoing work to strengthen the promotion and protection of those who defend rights.
During its 76th session and in a move welcomed by civil-society, the Third Committee of the GA adopted by consensus a resolution recognising the rights of all people to participate in elections and public affairs, without discrimination, including on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Concerned about the increase in the number of human rights defenders in exile in Africa, during its 27th Extraordinary session, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’) adopted resolution 439 mandating the African Commission to publish a report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Exile in Africa.
Civil society calls for an end to attacks against Sudanese women protestors and WHRDs following the military coup.
On 16 November, ISHR delivered a statement on the situation of human rights in Africa, with a particular focus on the criminalisation and arrest of women defenders in Sudan, of LGBTI defenders in Namibia and the progress made on legislative protection of defenders in Benin and Mali.
As we celebrate 40 years since the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which established the African Commission, the NGO Forum seized the opportunity to analyse the engagement of civil society with the Commission the past 40 years.
ISHR joins 15 NGOs in calling on Egypt to immediately communicate to Salah Soltan’s relatives his whereabouts, and release him from detention.
Sudanese human rights defender Abdulaziz Adam addresses the HRC to draw attention to the human right situation in Sudan.