We, participants to the Forum on the participation of NGOs in the 42nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights from 10-12 November 2007 in Brazzaville,
Considering the situation of human rights defenders in the states parties to the African Charter on Human and people’s rights of 1986 which commemorates its 20th anniversary today;
Recalling the provisions the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, the Declaration of the United Nations of 1998 on Human Rights Defenders, the Declaration of “Grand Baie” and its plan of action of 1999, the Declaration of Kigali of 2003 and all the legal instruments which guarantee the right of defenders of human rights.
Deeply concerned by the recent developments in Niger where an order on a warning applicable only to the region of Agadez has resulted in the arrest of journalists, whose the sole crime has been to exercise the right entitled to them by the international legal instruments recognizing freedom of speech and press and to which their country is party;
Deeply concerned by the developments in Somalia where eight journalists fulfilling their task were victims of extra-judicial killings;
Deeply concerned by the developments in Sudan where the situation of human rights defenders is precarious due to the Darfur crisis which affects everybody;
Noticing the harassment and intimidation to which journalists in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, etc, are victims;
Request that the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to adopt a Resolution:
1. Calling upon governments of member states to put an end to harassment and intimidation acts, attacks, arrests, detention and killing of journalists in their respective countries;
2. Condemning the measures the purpose of which is to muzzle the press, which are applied in many African Countries, particularly in Niger, Gambia, Somalia, Ethiopia an DRC;
3. Asking to all member states, particularly to:
a. Niger to put an end to the arrest of journalists and to take appropriate steps to free those who are detained;
b. Somalia to put an end to the killing of journalists;
c. DRC to put an end to harassment of journalists and defenders of human rights and to have cases of killing of journalists and human rights defenders tried in the shortest time possible;
d. Rwanda to put an end to intimidation, and persecution of human rights defenders;
e. And all states to fulfil them commitment as regard ad African Charter on human an peoples rights, the principles and guidelines on judicial assistance in Africa, the declaration on the defenders of human right, the declarations of ‘’Grand Baie’’ and Kigali and the international pact on civil and political rights.
° The African Union:
– To recommend to the states to take all necessary measures or adopting the laws on the decriminalization of press offensive;
– The renewals of the mandate, special reporter on human rights.
° The Commission:
– To implement the resolution on human rights adopted by asking states to get the special Rapporteur involver in the follow up implementation and protection of human rights during elections;
– To call on the states, to reply to the communication sent by the special Rapporteur;
– To ask the states to invite the special Rapporteur permanenthly and to provide financial means to allow him fulfil his task
Done at Brazzaville, November 12th, 2007