Sunday, April 7, 2013

African Commission raises concerns over state parties’ reprisals against human rights defenders

Human Rights Defenders at the Forum on the Participation of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the 49th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR and the 23rd African Human Rights Book Fair in Banjul from April 25-27, 2011 (Photo Credit: M.S. Joof/TNBES)
The African Commission notes with great concern on information alleging reprisals by States Parties against NGOs in the conduct of their mandate, Commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki said on Saturday.

The Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) said “these reactions by State Parties are indicative of the efficacy of human rights advocacy by NGOs, as it implies that the activities of the NGOs are actually impacting the states concerned”.

She was speaking during the officially opening of the NGOs Forum (April 6-8, 2013,) in Banjul, The Gambia, which usually precedes the Ordinary Session of ACHPR. The 53rd Session of the Commission, also hosted by The Gambia, will kick-off on Tuesday and will last for two-weeks.

Gambie (Photo credit: Guillaume Colin & Pauline Penot)
Commissioner Atoki told NGOs the Commission remains committed to protecting and defending human right defenders and urges that such incidences are urgently brought to the attention of the ACHPR.

Atoki call on civil society organizations to continue to work even harder in the crusade against human rights violation, intolerance and bad governance.

FPI understands the African Union (AU) is preparing to celebrate 50 years as an organisation. Throughout this period, a mixture of progress on human rights and massive disregard and violations of the same cause have been matching side by side.

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