National and international human rights organisations express concern regarding a national law on human rights defenders that recently entered into force, due to broad and restrictive provisions that could limit the work and rights of human rights defenders.
The 71st online session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights was held between 21 April and 13 May 2022. This session addressed the impact of crises on the achievement of human rights on the continent and post-Covid-19 reconstruction.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) examined the combined report of the 12th and 13th periodic reports of the Republic of Kenya during the virtual session held from 21 April to 13 May 2022. The report presents the progress made by the country regarding the state of human rights in Kenya.
The Chinese authorities weaponise laws to target dissidents in the name of ‘national security’: journalists are no exception. On World Press Freedom Day, ISHR calls on the authorities to release independent journalist Huang Xueqin and her friend, labour rights activist Wang Jianbing. Both were unjustly held for 226 days.
Despite the African Union adopting the AGENDA 2063: “The Africa We Want” in May 2013, 2021- and beginning of 2022 have been marked by military coups in 5 African countries with considerable impact on human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and governance. This needs to change.
ISHR delivered a statement on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa during the 71st session of the African Commission. It highlights significant progress made on the continent on the protection of defenders but equally that violations of their rights remain deplorable in some countries.
In 2020, governments took restrictive measures to eradicate the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures, although gradually attenuated, have had an impact on social and economic rights and number of vulnerable groups. Moreover, some States continue to use them to restrict fundamental freedoms.
Since 2020, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has been holding its public sessions virtually. For the first time, the 69th session which took place from 15 November 2021 to 5 December 2021 was held in a hybrid format with all Commissioners participating from Dakar, Senegal and participants joining online.
Faced with the appropriation of their name, Peruvian NGO Madres en Acción is pushing back, filing a legal action to recover it. In an amicus brief in support of the action, ISHR argues that trademark law is being used to attack defenders and this must stop.
Public servants, journalists, and indigenous defenders have suffered targeting and reprisals from an increasingly brazen government, confirming the urgent need to adopt legal mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders.