The ACHPR denounces human rights violations in Zimbabwe and in South Africa

The FIDH welcomes the recent adoption, by the ACHPR of urgent resolutions on the situation in Zimbabwe and South Africa, but deplores the lack of adoption of a resolution on the right to food.

Considering the multiplication of assassinations, arbitrary arrests and detentions of political opponents as the run-off of presidential elections in Zimbabwe draws near, as well as threats, intimidations, and numerous hindrances to the human rights defenders’ work, the ACHPR condemned the human rights violations perpetrated in this country, urged the authorities to ensure the free access for candidates to the media and the immediate cessation of the violations of human rights defenders’ rights and called for the holding of free and democratic elections under the surveillance of regional and international observers.

Furthermore, considering the importance and the gravity of xenophobic crimes perpetrated in South Africa, the ACHPR condemned these violences, urged the authorities to take all the necessary measures to duly prosecute and try the perpetrators and called on the government to authorise the visit of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on refugees and displaced persons in Africa.

These resolutions echoed concerns of the FIDH and its member organisations raised during the NGOs’ interventions during the public sessions on the situation of human rights and the situation of migrants in Africa.

However, the FIDH regrets that the ACHPR did not adopt a resolution on the right to food during this session while the increase in the cost of living on the continent is turning into a crisis and might be source of conflicts.

Moreover, the FIDH is satisfied with issues raised by the commissioners on the situation of human rights in Sudan and in Tanzania, on the occasion of the examination of these countries’ reports during this session. The FIDH hopes that the ACHPR’s conclusions and recommendations which will follow these examinations will consider the concerns raised by its member organisations, the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) and the Legal Human Rights Centre (LHRC), which both presented to the commissioners an alternative report on the situation of human rights in their countries. In this respect, the FIDH encourages the ACHPR to make its conclusions and recommendations public so as to make easier the monitoring of their implementation by the States.

The FIDH reminds that on the occasion of the 4th Extraordinary Session of the ACHPR, which was held in Banjul in February 2008, the Commission adopted a resolution authorising the sending of a mission in Somalia to investigate the grave human rights violations perpetrated in this country. Considering the current deteriorating situation of human rights in this country, the FIDH encourages the fast sending of this mission in Somalia and calls on the implementation and respect of the provisions of the resolution adopted by the Commission.

Finally, the FIDH welcomes the first meeting of the ACHPR working group on death penalty, held in the margin of this session and calls on the Commission to provide this group with all assistance necessary for the fulfilment of its mandate.

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