Liberty

Author
Mary Falconer
Judgment date
Court name
African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
Flynote local
Resolution
Flynote
Human Rights
Police action
Life
Liberty
Assembly
Excessive use of force

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 69th Ordinary Session, held virtually from 15 November to 5 December 2021:

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Considering Article 45(1)(a) of the African Charter which mandates the Commission to “collect documents, undertake studies and researches on African problems in the field of human and peoples’ rights;”

Considering Article 4 of the African Charter which enshrines the right to life and prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of life;

Reaffirming Article 6 of the African Charter which enshrines the right to personal liberty and security of the person;

Further reaffirming Article 11 of the African Charter which guarantees the right to freedom of assembly;

Recalling resolution ACHPR/Res. 437 (EXT.OS/ XXVI1) 2020, the Need to Prepare a Study on the Use of Force by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa;

Further Recalling General Comment No. 3 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Right to Life (Article 4), adopted during its 57th Ordinary Session, held from 4 to 18 November 2015, which provides that States must take all reasonable precautionary steps to protect life and prevent excessive use of force by its agents;

Recalling Furthermore the Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa, adopted during the 21st Extra-Ordinary Session, held from 23 February to 04 March 2017;

Bearing in mind the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, adopted by the 8th United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in Cuba, from 27 August to 07 September 1990;

Recalling its Resolution ACHPR/Res.79 (XXXVIII) 05 on the Composition and Operationalization of the Working Group on the Death Penalty, and Resolution ACHPR/Res.227 (LII) 2012 on the Expansion of the Mandate of the Working Group on Death Penalty in Africa, to include Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa;

Further recalling its decision to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa at its 20th Ordinary Session held from 21 to 31 October 1996, as well as Resolution ACHPR/Res.306 (EXT.OS/ XVIII) 2015 Expanding the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa to include issues relating to policing and human rights;

Conscious of the need to prepare a study on the use of force by law enforcement officials in Africa;

Further Conscious of the need to complement the above study with a practical training manual to facilitate its implementation at stakeholder level

The Commission decides to extend the Study on the Use of Force by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa until 2023.

Done virtually, on 5 December 2021

Author
Inge Papp
Judgment date
Court name
African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
Flynote local
Resolution
Flynote
Equality and non-discrimination
Equality before the law and equal protection of the law
Life
Torture cruel inhuman or degrading treatment
Liberty
Have his cause heard (fair trial)
Express and disseminate opinion
Assembly
Participate in government
Health

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 25th Extra-Ordinary Session held from 19 February to 5 March 2019 in Banjul, The Gambia; 

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Mindful of the obligations of the Republic of The Sudan as a Member State of the African Union (AU), and State Party to the African Charter and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;  

Reaffirming the provisions of Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, and 19 of the African Charter which guarantee the right to be protected against discrimination, the right to equal protection of the law, the right to life, the right not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, the right to personal liberty and protection from arbitrary arrest,  the right to a fair trial, the right to receive information and to freedom of expression, the right of assembly, the right to participate freely in government, the right to the best attainable state of physical and mental health, and the right to equality of all peoples;

Bearing in mind its Statement of 11 February 2019 on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of The Sudan which called on the Government to uphold the Sudanese peoples’ fundamental human rights and ensure the security and safety of its population;

Deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the Republic of The Sudan following the protests which began in December 2018 due to a rise in the price of bread and fuel, as well as other essential goods; 

Concerned by the use of excessive and disproportionate force to disperse protests, resulting in the deaths and injuries of several protestors; 

Alarmed by reports that security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas into hospital premises, where protestors were taking shelter;

Concerned by allegations relating to the arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment of persons suspected of participating in or supporting the protests including students, opposition party members, journalists, human rights defenders, and others; 

Noting reports that on 29 January 2019, the Chief of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) issued an order to release all persons who were detained in relation to the protests;  

Concerned by the declaration of a year-long state of emergency on 22 February 2019, which restricts fundamental human rights and freedoms including the rights to liberty, security, freedom of expression and assembly;

The Commission:

1.     Condemns the deteriorating human rights situation in the Republic of The   Sudan. 

2.     Calls on the Government of the Republic of The Sudan to: 

i.  ensure that fundamental human rights and freedoms are   respected   and upheld during the state of emergency; 

ii. ensure due process of law for persons arrested and detained in  connection with protests, in accordance with regional and international standards;

iii. ensure that those in detention are released further to the release order by the Chief of NISS;

iv. refrain from the use of excessive and disproportionate force against  protestors and, more generally, take the necessary measures to guarantee the security and safety of its population; 

v. initiate prompt, impartial and effective investigations into the  alleged human rights violations and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and subjected to appropriate sanctions reflecting the gravity of the offences, in accordance with relevant international and regional standards; and

vi. ensure that victims of the violations and their families obtain full and adequate redress, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition; 

3.     Calls on the Republic of The Sudan to authorise the Commission to undertake a fact-finding mission to The Sudan.

4.     Further calls on all actors, particularly opposition party members, activists, and the general population, to refrain from any form of incitement and acts of violence.

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, on 5 March 2019

 

Author
Mary Falconer
Judgment date
Court name
African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
Flynote local
Resolution
Flynote
Migrant
Movement and residence
Liberty
Security of the person
Have his cause heard (fair trial)

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Commission), meeting at its 63rd Ordinary Session held from 24 October to 13 November 2018 in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia; 

Recalling  its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter);

Considering  Article 45(1) (a) of the African Charter which mandates the African Commission to “collect documents, undertake studies and researches on African problems in the field of human and peoples’ rights”;

Considering  Article 12 of the African Charter which recognises, among others, the right of every individual to move freely in accordance with the laws;

Considering  Article 5 of the African Charter which guarantees the right of every individual to dignity and the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; 

Considering  Articles 6, 7, 14, 16, 17 and 18 of the African Charter which, respectively, guarantee the right to liberty and the security of persons, the right to a fair trial, the right to property, the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health, the right to education, and the right to the protection of the family and vulnerable groups;  

Conscious  of the increasing number of migrants as a result of security, socio-political and economic crises;

Extremely concerned  by the continuous serious human rights violations suffered by migrants in the course of their migration journey; 

Underscoring  the crucial role of law enforcement officers in the respect and protection of the rights of migrants; 

Bearing in mind  its Resolutions 114, 333, 317 and 398 in which the Commission emphasised the existence of serious violations of the human rights of migrants and the deteriorating situation of African migrants in the Mediterranean, and urged the relevant stakeholders to take the necessary measures to put an end to violations; 

Concerned  by the fact that vulnerable groups, including women and children, are more exposed to serious human rights violations in the course of their migration journey; 

Determined  to work effectively and on the basis of reliable information that reflects the realities on the ground;

Convinced of the need to increase awareness about the human rights violations suffered by migrants in the various regions of Africa in the course of their migration journey and on their return, while paying particular attention to the role of law enforcement officers in the area of migration;

Further convinced  that the preparation of a continental study on violations of the rights of migrants in Africa will help to improve the situation of their rights; 

Conscious  of the need, for practical reasons, for the field study to focus on violations of the rights of migrants in some countries that are representative of the various regions of Africa;

Recalling  its Resolution ACHPR/Res. 379(LXI) 17 on the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa; 

Recalling  its Resolution ACHPR/Res. 378(LXI) 17 on the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa;

The African Commission:

•          Decides to conduct a study on violations of the human rights of migrants;

•          Decides to adopt a progressive approach in conducting the study;

•          Decides that the study will be conducted by the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants and the Special Rapporteur on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa;

•          Calls upon state and non-state actors to contribute to the conduct of the study.

Done in Banjul, Republic of  The Gambia, on 13 November 2018