We the representatives of non-governmental organizations attending the NGO forum of the 39th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
Recalling that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (NGO/Res/0004-1105) during its 38th Ordianary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia,
Recalling that freedom of opinion and expression as well as the right to assemble are fundamental rights enshrined in the international instruments ratified by Ethiopia, and notably Articles 9 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
Deeply concerned about the repression going on since June 2005 in Ethiopia and notably the arbitrary arrests, disappearances, incommunicado detentions and other human rights violations directed at suspected members and supporters of opposition groups, students and human rights defenders,
Recalling that on 1st November 2005, security forces killed at least 50 demonstrators protesting against the outcome of parliamentary elections in Addis Ababa and other towns and have wounded more than 100,
Concerned about the detention of opposition leaders and newspaper editors facing treason charge, an offence that carries death penalty in Ethiopia, for their role in the events of November 2005.
Hereby request the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to adopt a resolution:
1. Condemning the killings of civilians by police forces,
2. Requesting that the Ethiopian judiciary immediately release arbitrarily detained political prisoners, human rights defenders and journalists,
3. Calling upon the government to guarantee to any individual accused of a crime carrying a death sentence the right to a fair trial as provided by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments, including the right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence,
4. Calling upon the government to conduct an independent and impartial investigation on recent violent acts in the country and to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice,
5. Urging the government to guarantee, at all times, the freedoms of opinion and expression as well as the right to hold peaceful demonstration and political assembly,
6. Requesting that the government guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defenders in compliance with international instruments especially the Declaration of Human Rights defenders adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1998,
7. Calling upon the government to conform with the international instruments ratified by Ethiopia and notably, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
8. Requesting that the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Conditions of Detention in Africa, to undertake a joint mission, assessing the situation in Ethiopia
Done in Banjul, 8 May, 2006