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Archive for the tag “African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights”

Press Release: African Commission Calls on Uganda to Ensure The Right to Legal Abortion and Access to Reproductive Health Services (07.03.2016)

Kabare Hospital 11.12.15

The government of Uganda should stop impeding access to medical abortion and reproductive health services, according to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights—a regional body charged with ensuring African states comply with their human rights obligations under regional and international human rights treaties.

The African Commission’s recommendations call for Uganda to implement the Maputo Protocol—the only treaty, at both the international and regional levels, that explicitly guarantees the right to legal abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health or life of the woman or in cases of fatal fetal impairments.

Abortion in Uganda is legal in limited circumstances, yet approximately 85,000 women each year receive treatment for complications from unsafe abortion and an additional 65,000 women experience complications but do not seek medical treatment.

“Too many women and girls in Uganda put their health and lives at risk because the government has failed to ensure they have access to safe abortion services when they need it,” said Evelyne Opondo, regional director for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We commend the African Commission for putting the reproductive rights of these women and girls first, and urge Uganda to expedite implementation of the Maputo Protocol and expand access safe and legal abortion.”

Abim Hospital 2014 P2

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) submitted a letter to the African Commission in October 2014 that highlighted a range of reproductive health and human rights issues including the lack of access to comprehensive contraceptive services and information, lack of access to safe abortion services and post-abortion care, high incidence of maternal deaths and injuries, discrimination against women living with HIV and AIDS, and expulsion of pregnant girls from school.

In its recommendations, the Africa Commission urges Uganda to expedite all draft bills in Parliament which have bearing on protection of women’s rights, including the Marriage and Divorce Bill which has been pending for more than 15 years. The commission also calls for the strengthening of protections for Ugandans livings with HIV and AIDS, including making amendments to the “HIV Prevention and AIDS Control Bill.” The law, which was passed in August 2014, criminalizes the transmission of HIV, a measure that allows doctors to violate patients’ confidentiality and disclose their HIV status without consent, and calls for mandatory testing for pregnant women and their partners in violation of their human rights.

“The provisions in the HIV Prevention and AIDS Control Bill are discriminatory and only deter people from accessing health services, including HIV testing,” said Moses Mulumba, Executive Director of CEHURD. “We call on the state to reconsider these provisions and promote the realization of the right to health in Uganda.” 

The Center has worked extensively in Uganda on the human rights implications of lack of access to legal abortion and modern contraceptives. In November 2013, the Center, the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law released a joint report entitled The Stakes Are High: The Tragic Impact of Unsafe Abortion and Inadequate Access to Contraception in Uganda. The report documents personal stories of women impacted by the widespread and false impression that abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Uganda— when in fact it is permitted for women with life-threatening conditions and victims of sexual assault.

In 2012, the Center launched its first research report on Uganda’s laws and policies on termination of pregnancy. The report found that the laws and policies are more expansive than most believe, and Uganda has ample opportunity to increase access to safe abortion services.

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Press Release: On the assassination attempt on Mr. Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa (05.08.2015)

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The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Special Rapporteur), Mrs. Reine Alapini-Gansou, expresses deep concern at the assassination attempt on the President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons in Burundi (A.PRO.DH), Mr. Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa on Monday, 3 August 2015 in Burundi.

The Special Rapporteur strongly condemns this situation and expresses concern about the health condition of this human rights defender.

She expresses further concern for the safety of Mr. Mbonimpa and that of human rights defenders in the Republic of Burundi, particularly in the current context of increased violence since the announcement of the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza for the 2015 presidential elections, followed by his re-election.

The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government of the Republic of Burundi of its commitments under international and regional human rights protection instruments, in particular, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and specifically, its articles 1, 4 and 5.

The Special Rapporteur strongly urges the relevant authorities of the Republic of Burundi to take immediate measures to ensure that Mr. Pierre Claver Mponimpa receives proper emergency medical care in a safe environment.

She also urges the relevant authorities to take the necessary measures to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this serious violation of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur further calls upon the Burundian authorities to take appropriate action to avoid the occurrence of other attacks and violations of the rights of human rights defenders.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur emphasizes the need for Burundian authorities to take all necessary measures to comply with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments ratified by the Republic of Burundi.

UK & U.S., CSO’s and Multilateral Organizations statements and press releases on the events in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

If you haven’t heard what has happen in Burkina Faso. If so, then these pieces will give you some notion on what has happen in Burkina Faso and also how it’s been and also what has happen in the last 48 hours.

Ban Ki-Moon statement:

“The Secretary-General is following with great concern the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso.  He calls on all parties to end the use of violence, exercise calm and restraint and use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues”(…)”The Secretary-General is saddened over the loss of life resulting from recent events.  He has requested his Special Representative for West Africa, Mohammed ibn Chambas, to visit Burkina Faso tomorrow and welcomes that this mission will be undertaken jointly with the African Union and ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States]” (UN, 30.10.2014).

AU:

“Addis Ababa, 30 October 2014: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has expressed deep concern about the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso and is following its evolution very closely. She has called for calm and utmost restraint from all the parties concerned” (…)”has urgently dispatched a High-Level Team that will form part of a Joint Delegation comprising the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN) to Burkina Faso to consult with all the Burkinabe stakeholders. In this regard, the Chairperson appeals to the Burkinabe authorities to facilitate the visit of the Joint Delegation” (…)”assures the people of Burkina Faso of the unflinching support of the AU, as they look for political solutions to the current difficulties facing their country” (AU, 30.10.2014)

U.S:

“The United States welcomes President Compaore’s decision to withdraw a National Assembly bill which would have amended the constitution and allowed him to run for an additional term of office. We also welcome his decision to form a government of national unity to prepare for national elections and to transfer power to a democratically elected successor. We look forward to that transition taking place in 2015. We regret the violence and the loss of life today in Burkina Faso, and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We underscore our commitment to peaceful transitions of power through democratic elections and emphasize neither side should attempt to change the situation through extra-constitutional means” (Psaki, 30.10.2014).

EU:

“We are following very closely the ongoing events in Burkina Faso. The European Union is very concerned about the current situation, with reports on casualties following the violent demonstrations that took place today. Now that the law proposal on the revision of the

Constitution has been withdrawn, the European Union calls upon all parties to refrain from the use of violence and engage rapidly in a constructive dialogue. The European Union stands ready to step in to facilitate this process” (EU, 30.10.2014)

WANEP:

Burkina Faso1

Amnesty:

“Authorities in Burkina Faso must rein in security forces that have used excessive force to crack down on peaceful anti-government protests, Amnesty International said today” (…)”he use of excessive force to crack down on peaceful protesters is unacceptable and the transition authorities must act urgently to rein in security forces,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s Researcher for West Africa” (…)”It is crucial that those responsible for the killings and beatings of protesters, journalists and other civilians are identified and held accountable. Officials at the highest level should publicly make it clear that excessive use of force will not be tolerated,” said Gaëtan Mootoo” (…)”People took to the streets of Ouagadougou and other cities yesterday to protest against an attempt by President Blaise Compaore – who has since resigned – to amend the constitution to extend his long stay in power” (…)”They began beating them with cords, then they shot live bullets. I saw three protesters fall down in front of me. One protestor was shot dead. I was able to take a photo showing the bullets that killed him when he was shot in the chest,” he said” (…)”Protesters should not be detained and charged for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, as guaranteed by the constitution and international and regional treaties ratified by Burkina Faso” (31.10.2014, Amnesty).

ACHPR:

“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) is closely monitoring the political and human rights situation in Burkina Faso, in particular since the first demonstration that took place on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 to protest against the bill to amend the Constitution” (…)”is concerned about the worsening political crisis and its disastrous consequences for the stability of the country” (…)”is deeply concerned about the acts of violence and vandalism which led to the burning of the National Assembly building and destruction of the property of the national television station leading to an end to its broadcasting activities”(…)”is concerned about the death of several people during clashes between the population and security forces”(…)”is concerned that the violence is inconsistent with the ideals of democracy which is the goal of the demonstrations”(…)”The African Commission strongly condemns the violence and urgently appeals for a return to calm and a restoration of order. The African Commission reiterates the need for all the parties concerned to work towards restoring peace and security, and calls on the political stakeholders to engage in dialogue towards maintaining stability in the country. The African Commission seizes this opportunity to urge all the parties to comply with the principles of international humanitarian law and to respect and protect the human rights of all persons in Burkina Faso” (ACHPR, 31.10.2014).

ECOWAS:

“Has followed with grave attention the events unfolding in Burkina Faso and the tension around the process leading to the consideration of the draft bill on constitutional amendment” (…)”takes note of the decision by the government to withdraw the passing of this draft bill” (…)”To this end, it reiterates the need for compliance with the principle of democracy and constitutional governance as stipulated in the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance” (…)”ECOWAS calls on all the people to remain calm and law abiding, and the security forces to respect and act in accordance with the constitution of the Republic. It also calls on all the parties involved, notably the entire political class to embrace dialogue with a view to arriving at a political consensus that will lead to free, fair and credible election consistent with constitutional provisions. ECOWAS, in line with its principle, will not recognize any ascension to power through non-constitutional means” (…)”H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS” (31.10.2014, ECOWAS).

UK:

Tobias Ellwood the Minister for Africa said: “We are deeply concerned by the violence which has taken place in Ouagadougou, seemingly as a result of government plans to amend the Constitution of Burkina Faso so that the incumbent President can seek another term after 27 years in office” (…)”The UK reiterates its support for the African Union Charter and for peaceful and democratic transfers of power. We urge all parties to exercise restraint, to adhere to non-violence and to return to dialogue to resolve this issue” (31.10.2014, UK).

Links:

ACHPR – ‘Press Release on the Deterioration of the Political and Human Rights Situation in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.achpr.org/press/2014/10/d232/

Amnesty – ‘Burkina Faso must end excessive use of force against protesters’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/burkina-faso-must-end-excessive-use-force-against-protesters

AU – ‘AU deeply concerned by the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/au-deeply-concerned-by-the-unfolding-situation-in-burkina-faso#sthash.W4IGuW3n.Zo3a9RQY.dpuf

ECOWAS – ‘ECOWAS speaks on Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.presidency.gov.gh/node/723

EU – ‘Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/141030_01_en.pdf

UN – Secretary-General: SG/SM/16298-AFR/3002 -‘Saddened by Recent Deaths in Burkina Faso, Secretary-General Calls for Restraint, End of Violence’ (30.10.2014) Link:  http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sgsm16298.doc.htm

UK – ‘UK concerned by violence in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.nsf/articles/UK+concerned+by+violence+in+Burkina+Faso+31102014141530?open

U.S – Jon Psaki: ‘Welcoming President Compaore’s Commitment to a Democratic Transition’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/10/233567.htm

WANEP – ‘PRESS RELEASE ON POLITICAL SITUATION IN BURKINA FASO’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.wanep.org/wanep/files/2014/oct/pr_2014_oct30_burkina_faso.pdf

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