05/07/06 (B357-B) LDDH : communiqué de condoléances pour la famille du journaliste suédois assassiné à Mogadiscio et diffusion du communique du réseau EHAHRD (Défenseur des Droits de l’Homme), qui condmane officiellement cet acte.

Le Président

Cette Diffusion en anglais porte essentiellement sur :

  • une présentation de la LDDH ;
  • un sommaire du rapport de la Conférence de l’EHAHRDP du 30 octobre au 4 novembre 2006 ;
  • situation actuelle.


    (Merci d’excuser des erreurs possibles commises lors de la reproduction).

    M. NOEL ABDI Jean-Paul

Djibouti (traduction du texte qui suit).

Il n’a qu’une seule ONG des droits de l’homme travaillant légalement à
Djibouti, la Ligue Djiboutienne des Droits Humains (LDDH) qui s’appui sur un
réseau de correspondants anonymes à travers tout le pays. Les membres de la
Ligue sont constamment harcelés. Les médias gouvernementaux attaquent
régulièrement le travail de la LDDH et refusent de publier ses droits de
réponse.

Les violations des droits de l’homme commises à Djibouti incluent
les arrestations arbitraires, et les arrestations extrajudiciaires de la
part des forces de sécurité qui bénéficie de l’impunité pour ces abus. De
plus la LDDH se voit interdire l’accès aux prisons et aux centres de
détention

I) – Djibouti

There is only one human rights NGO legally working in Djibouti, the Ligue
Djiboutienne des Droits Humains (LDDH, Djibouti League for Human Rights),
supported by a network of local monitors who work as anonymous
correspondents throughout the country. League members are constantly
harassed.

The government-run media regularly attacks the work of the LDDH
and refuses to publish the LDDH responses to negative coverage. Human rights
violations experienced in Djibouti include unlawful arrests and
extrajudicial killings by the security forces that enjoy impunity for
abuses. So far, the LDDH is denied access to jails and detention centres.

II) – Amnesty International

East Africa and the Horn of Africa "Defending the Defenders":
a Human Rights Defenders Conference
June 2006 Summary Al Index: AFR 04/001/2006

Human rights defenders from East Africa and the Horn of Africa often put
themselves at grave risk to their lives or liberty in their efforts to
expose human rights violations.

In Ethiopia, human rights defenders are on trial for treason or seeking to
overthrow the constitution, and face possible death sentences; in Sudan,
human rights lawyers are frequently detained and interrogated, and a
Sudanese humanitarian organisation in Darfur which has emergency medical and
feeding centres was shut down early this year – though later allowed to
re-open after international protests. In Somalia, where there is no
effective government or rule of law, human rights organisations are under
constant threat of violence from warlords. In Eritrea, there is no human
rights organisation, on account of widespread political repression.

Despite protection afforded by international and regional human rights
treaties and standards, such as the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
(1998), governments (and some armed political groups too) continue to take
repressive action against human rights defenders in order to counter
exposure or criticism of practices that violate human rights.

Human rights defenders have been harassed, defamed, dismissed from their
jobs, physically attacked, arbitrarily detained, subjected to fabricated
charges and unfair trials, tortured or ill-treated, and sometimes "disappeared" or killed.

Much of this sub-region has experienced massive human rights abuses going
back many years, in the context of single-party rule, military dictatorship,
the struggle for democracy, internal armed conflict, and in the extreme case
of Somalia, the long-term collapse of the state. Women human rights
defenders have often suffered from social exclusion. Those advocating for
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights have encountered
harassment and violence from the general public, as well as the threat of
criminal prosecution on account of their sexual orientation.

This is a report of a Human Rights Defenders Conference held in Entebbe,
Uganda, from 30 October to 4 November 2005. It provided a unique opportunity
for human rights defenders from East Africa and the Horn of Africa to share
their experiences, exchange ideas and build networks to support each other.

The conference was jointly organized by Amnesty International and the East
and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defender Project (EHAHRDP), based in
Kampala. It brought together 43 human rights defenders, including 19 women
defenders, from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Somaliland,
Sudan (including South Sudan), Tanzania (including Zanzibar), and Uganda.
The report contains testimonies by human rights defenders of arbitrary
arrest in Ethiopia, kidnapping and death threats in Somalia, forced female
genital mutilation in Kenya, and persecution of a lesbian activist in
Uganda. Participants had workshop discussions about the problems human
rights defenders face in situations of armed conflict, political and legal
repression. There were presentations on international and regional
instruments for the protection of human rights defenders; risk assessment
and security management; mainstreaming gender and engendering human rights
defenders; trauma counselling and coping strategies; lobbying, media work,
strategic planning and advocacy.

The conference culminated in the launching of a new Human Rights Defenders
Network linking organizations working for human rights in East Africa and
the Horn, and the adoption of a Plan of Action.
…………
This summarizes a 34-page document (12,938 words), East Africa and the Horn
of Africa – "Defending the Defenders ": a Human Rights Defenders Conference
(AI Index: AFR 04/001/2006), issued by Amnesty International in June 2006.
Anyone wishing further details or to take action on this issue should
consult the full document. An extensive range of our materials on this and
other subjects is available at http://www.amnesty.org.Amnesty International
news releases can be received by email:

http://www.amnesty.org/email/email_updates.html

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT, I EASTON STREET, LONDON WC1X ODW, UNITED KINGDOM

III) – Update June 2006

The recognition, safety and achievements of HRDs described in the Country
Reports above have not improved significantly in the six months since the
end of the conference in early November 2005, despite their vigorous efforts
on many contentious issues.

In Somalia, HRDs in Mogadishu have been most at risk in the escalating armed
conflict between Islamic court militias and a coalition of warlords.

Hundreds of civilians were killed by both sides in the fighting, as the
Islamic militias captured the capital. HRDs who attended the Entebbe
conference were unable to carry out their activities, but ail survived.

However, on 29 May 2006 Abdi Farah Mohamed, the Regional Coordinator in
Puntland Regional State of the Peace and Human Rights Network (PHRN), winch
belongs to the Network, was detained for calling for civil society groups to
hold a rally for peace in the new conflict in Mogadishu. He was released on
bond two days later as a result of swift interventions by the Somali civil
society organizations and the Network. The long-awaited meeting of the
Transitional Federal Government and Parliament in Baïdoa has so far had no
apparent impact on the Mogadishu crisis or the actual beginning of national
government and rule of law in Somalia.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), a Network member recently
registered as a trade union in Somalia, has achieved remarkable success in
defending journalists through the establishment of a national structure of
Press Freedom Protectors (PFPs), despite the high level of insecurity and
absence of effective state institutions. PFPs have reported human rights
violations against journalists to the NUSOJ office in Mogadishu, leading to
rapid and usually successful interventions by NUSOJ, supported by
international media associations, addressing the Prime Minister of the
Transitional Federal Government and local authorities or warlords.

Following the November 2005 demonstration killings and mass arrests in
Ethiopia, the two Ethiopian HRDs attending the conference who were unable to
return home continued their asylum applications. Kifle Mulat, president of
the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association (EFJA), is being tried in
his absence for political offences which could carry the death penalty,
along with opposition party leaders and 14 journalists – prisoners of
conscience – who are among the 76 defendants in a treason trial winch many
fear will be unfair by recognized international standards11.

He has continued his media rights campaigning and attended media conferences in
Tanzania, Belgium and Holland. Yared Hailemariam, an investigator with the
Ethiopian Human Rights Council (El-IRCO), presented dramatic new evidence to
a European Parliament committee hearing in Strasbourg in May 2006 on
arbitrary killings by the Ethiopian security forces in November 2005. Though
not formally charged so far, he would be at great risk to his safety if
forced to return to Ethiopia. EHRCO, winch is the Ethiopia Focal Point of
the Network, has been heavily restricted in its activities, though not
directly attacked, in the continuing crisis since November.

Four prominent human rights defenders are among the prisoners of conscience
in the Ethiopian treason trial:

. Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, now aged 76, founder in 1991 and chair until
2005 of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council;

. Daniel Bekele, a human rights lawyer and policy, research and advocacy
manager of the Ethiopian office of ActionAid, an international development
agency, who was engaged in the Global Cal! for Action against Poverty
(GCAP);

. Netsanet Demissie, a human rights and environmental rights lawyer and
founder and director of the Organisation for Social Justice in Ethiopia
(OSJE), winch had monitored the elections and joined in the GCAP campaign;

. Kassahun Kebede, a teacher and chair of the Addis Ababa branch of the
Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), winch the government has been trying
to shut down, and whose president, Dr Taye Woldesemayat, is being tried in
his absence.

In Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (except for Zanzibar), HRDs have generally
been able to pursue their activities openly and freely for most of the time
(though flot always achieving redress for abuses or receiving much
government cooperation or wide community support) – except, in Uganda for
example, on the sensitive issues described above, such as LGBT rights, media
freedom and the war in the north. The new NGO bi!! in Uganda, containing
clauses restricting NGO fundraising and activities, was passed in April
In Zanzibar however, HRDs such as the Zanzibar Legal Services (a member of
the Network), had difficulty in monitoring abuses by the security forces
against members of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party before,
during and after the October 2005 elections, and in obtaining justice for
victims.

The semi-autonomous Zanzibar government continued to deny
registration to the Zanzibar Human Rights Association (ZAHURA), restrict the
private media, and prevent the official Tanzania National Human Rights
Commission and the independent Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC – the
Tanzania Focal Point of the Network) from being active in Zanzibar.
In Sudan human rights defenders continued to be harassed, interrogated by
the security service and sometimes detained, especially in the humanitarian
and human rights crisis region of Darfur. HRDs in Darfur have worked closely
with human rights monitors of the UN Peace Keeping Force, despite major
security concerns.

On 22 January, a meeting of international and Sudanese NGOs in Khartoum
(including AI representatives) during the African Union Summit was raided by
the security forces. They demanded files, laptops and papers to be handed
over. Most participants resisted this and refused to accept being separated
as men and women or national and international. Participants were detained
briefly and threatened.

UN human rights monitors in Darfur and other parts of Sudan worked closely
with Sudanese HRDs. Yet in Darfur, HRDs continued to be harassed and
arrested. Four staff members and a volunteer working for the Sudan
Development Organization (SUDO), an independent NGO, were arrested on 13
February while conducting a training workshop on human rights monitoring at
al-De’ain University. They were released without charge after seven hours.
On 16 May two human rights lawyers working with the Amal Centre for
Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Nyala were detained
for a few days. They were then ordered to report daily to the national
security service, which was lifted after worldwide protests.

In February the government enacted a new NGO law which imposed severe
restrictions on NGOs working in Sudan as well as granting excessive
regulatory power to the government over the operations of NGOs. The
following month the government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), which
governs humanitarian NGOs in Sudan, ordered the closure of the offices,
medical centres and feeding centre of SUDO in Darfur, seized its vehicles
and froze its ban account. The HAC claimed SUDO had not applied for
registration under the new NGO law though it had not yet come into force and
NGOs had 60 days to re-register. After protests, SUDO was allowed to resume
its activities in April.

The Network through its Coordinator, Hassan Shire Sheikh, has issued 26 news
releases about human rights violations against human rights defenders in
these countries’2. They featured cases (some mentioned above) from Somalia
(including Puntland), Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda and Kenya. Many were
about journalists whose right to freedom of expression was violated through
arrest, shutdown of publications, beating or expulsion from the country,
when their published articles sought to protect citizens’ human rights by
criticizing the authorities

___________________________________ Rappel

DIFFUSION D’INFORMATION
DU 13 NOVEMBRE 2005
SUR LA CREATION D’UN RESEAU DES DEFENSEURS DES DROITS DE L’HOMME
DE L’AFRIQUE DE L’EST ET DE LA CORNE D’AFRIQUE

Du 30 octobre 2005 au 4 novembre 2005 une Conférence des défenseurs des
droits de l’Homme de l’Afrique de l’Est et Corne d’Afrique s’est tenue au
Windsor Lake Victoria Hotel à Entebbe (Ouganda)

Organisée conjointement par Amnesty International et l’Université de York
(Canada), la Conférence a réuni les Représentants de 65 organisations des
défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme de : Djibouti, Erythrée, Ethiopie, Kenya,
Somalie, Somaliland, Soudan, Sud Soudan, Tanzanie, Zanzibar, Ouganda, et les
partenaires internationaux d’Allemagne, Canada, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, et
Pays-Bas.

Au cours de cette importante Conférence, un réseau régional des Défenseurs
des Droits de l’Homme a été mis sur pied, et un plan d’action pour mieux
défendre les Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme a également été adopté.
Le Secrétariat de ce Réseau est basé à Kampala (Ouganda)
Le Réseau a élu en son sein, un Comité de 13 membres dont un représentant de
la Ligue Djiboutienne des Droits Humains (LDDH)

Le représentant de la LDDH a pris une part active à cette Conférence, qui a
débouché sur l’adoption d’une Déclaration finale, ci-dessous reproduite dans
sa version originale en anglais.

 

M.NOEL ABDI Jean-Paul

 

DECLARATION 0F HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN THE EAST AND
HORN 0F AFRICA

We, the Human Rights Defenders, meeting at the East and Horn of Africa Human
Rights Defenders Conference, organised by the East and Horn of Africa Human
Rights Defenders Project and Amnesty International, held at the Windsor Lake
Victoria Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda from 30 October to 4 November 2005;
Taking into consideration the significant role that Human Rights Defenders
play in the promotion and consolidation of peace, human rights and
democracy;
Mindful of the challenges faced by Human Rights Defenders and the
environment in which they operate, particularly in situation of armed
conflict, political and legal repression;
Deeply concerned about the lack of national mechanisms for the effective
protection of Human Rights Defenders and the lack of recognition of the
existence by Members States of the East and Horn of Africa of the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups
and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect universally recognised Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (The United Nations Declaration on Human
Rights Defenders);
Recognising the existence of International and Regional instruments for the
protection of Human Rights Defenders, including the United Nations
Declaration on
Human Rights Defenders, the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights
Defenders and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African
Commission) Resolution on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders;
Emphasising the important role that the United Nations Special
Representative of theSecretary General on Human Rights Defenders and the
African Commission SpecialRapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa can
play in the effective protectionof Human Rights Defenders in the East and
Horn of Africa;
Recognising the importance of networking and network building as a vital
source of protection of individual Defenders;

DO HEREBY:

Call upon Member States of the East and Horn of Africa to recognise the
legitimacy and important role Human Rights Defenders play in the promotion
and consolidation of peace, human rights and democracy;
Call upon Member States of the East and Horn of Africa to ensure that
domestic legislation is in conformity with the United Nations Declaration on
Human Rights Defenders;
Call upon Member States of the East and Horn of Africa to cooperate with the
United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human
Rights Defenders and the African Commission Special Rapporteur on Human
Rights Defenders in Africa;
Call upon the United Nations and the African Commission Special mechanisms
for the protection of Human Rights Defenders to pay particular attention to
the situation of Human Rights Defenders in the East and Horn of Africa and
to support their effort in the protection of Human Rights Defenders
Call upon the European Union to operationalize and give full effect to the
European Union Guidelines, particularly in providing adequate resources to
Defenders in the region;
Call upon Human Rights Defenders in the East and Horn of Africa to support
and participate actively in the success of the East and Horn of Africa Human
Rights Defenders Network.