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Archive for the tag “Rule of Law”

RDC: Message de L’Assemblee Pleniere Ordinaire des Eveques Membres de la CENCO (23.06.2017)

DRC: High Commissioner Zeid welcomes creation of international investigation into Kasais (23.06.2017)

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 23, 2017 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday said the creation of an international investigation into allegations of gross violations and abuses in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo sends a strong message to the perpetrators that the international community is serious about bringing them to justice.

The resolution, passed by consensus, in the UN Human Rights Council, calls on the High Commissioner to appoint a team of international experts to investigate “alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in the Kasai regions”. Since 2016, some 1.3 million people from the Kasais have been internally displaced by the violence, while some 30,000 refugees have fled to Angola.

“We fully support the establishment of an international investigation by the Human Rights Council as a step forward in identifying the perpetrators of gross violations and bringing them to justice,” High Commissioner Zeid said.

“I will present a comprehensive report with the team’s findings to the Human Rights Council. The team will conduct investigations in a fully independent manner, in accordance with international standards, as mandated by the Council. The resolution also clearly states the importance of ensuring the protection of all those who cooperate with the team, which underlines the need for the team of experts to operate independently. We expect and count on the full cooperation of the authorities, particularly in providing unfettered access to all sites, files, people and places.”

“The victims – those who have been killed, maimed, subjected to terrible violence and forced from their homes – deserve justice,” Zeid said.

The High Commissioner added that the UN Human Rights Office will also continue its monitoring, reporting and technical assistance activities in the DRC.

The resolution requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update to the Council at its March 2018 session followed by a comprehensive report in June 2018.

UN Human Rights Council – Tunisia Draft Resolution: “Technical Assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo and accountability concerning the events in the Kasai Region” (23.06.2017)

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

UN Special Expert report of June 2017 reveals the hardships of the citizens in Eritrea!

The government of Eritrea is usually keeping it low-key and not telling their stories. The nation which has since liberation from Ethiopia since 1993. Therefore, the long-term stay of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and their President Isias Afwerki, who is still in power. His use of the power and keeping it all close, is the reason that the state of Eritrea is like it is. The oppression of their own citizens and total control. That is the reason for the fleeing Eritreans, as well as the military service and tight-control of the industries. It is all in service of the Central Leadership in Asmara. Which doesn’t concern the citizens, they are being used by the EPLF and their needs. Therefore, every time a United Nations report comes out, it reveals new aspects and shows by the admission of the diaspora who are telling the stories that needs to be told. Since the media, the government and all parts of society in Eritrea is silenced by the President Afwerki. Take a look!

Support of Al-Shabaab and North Korea:

In 2009, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, primarily in response to Eritrea’s suspected support for Al Shabaab in Somalia. In its most recent report, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea stated that it had found no firm evidence of Eritrea’s support for Al Shabaab. It also described the use of Eritrean land, airspace and territorial waters by the Arab coalition supporting the anti-Houthi military campaign in Yemen, as well as the construction of a permanent military base at Assab International Airport and a new permanent seaport adjacent to it.3 In November 2016, the Security Council noted the finding about the lack of evidence pointing to Eritrean support for Al Shabaab, but expressed concern for ongoing Eritrean support for other regional armed groups and lack of cooperation with the Security Council; it extended the arms embargo on Eritrea” (…) “February 2017, the Panel of Experts supporting the Security Council Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) accused Eritrea of violating the arms embargo by buying military communications material from the DPRK. On 21 March 2017, the United States imposed sanctions pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) on the Eritrean Navy and any successor, subunit, or subsidiary thereof for prohibited transfer to or acquisition from DPRK of goods, services, or technology controlled under multilateral control lists” (Keetharuth, P: 5, 2017).

Arbitrary Arrests:

During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur continued to receive reports of new cases of arbitrary arrest and detention. The reasons for the arrests appear to be those previously identified by the Commission of Inquiry, namely attempting to evade military service or trying to assist a family member in doing so; trying to leave the country; practicing an unauthorised religion; or offending a high-ranking Government or official of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the sole political party in the country. The Special Rapporteur has received no official communication indicating that the Government has released arbitrarily detained prisoners or that it has provided information about the fate of high profile individuals subject to enforced disappearance” (Keetharuth, P: 6, 2017).

Food Supplies:

While some interlocutors told the Special Rapporteur that they had witnessed an active economic life during visits to Eritrea, with thriving markets and well-stocked shops, she heard from Eritreans in the diaspora that their relatives back home are struggling to meet their basic needs. While they confirmed the availability of food, they indicated that many households were unable to afford adequate and sufficient basic supplies, and were trying to cope with acute water shortages, especially in Asmara. As noted above, the recent UNICEF report confirmed this, indicating that half of the children are stunted. Reportedly, increasing numbers of people are leaving drought-affected regions in search of better living conditions. The ability to purchase food and other basic items has also been hampered by cash withdrawal limits which are still in place following the Nakfa currency exchange programme introduced by the Government at the end of 2015” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

Internet Freedom:

Since October 2016, reportedly, internet cafes must now require that customers register before being permitted to use the internet, allowing for the tracking of their browsing history. If confirmed, this new regulation would have an impact on the conduct of internet users and further restrict freedom of expression. In addition, frequent power cuts and very slow connections interfere with the use of internet” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

I think this things says a lot. The admissions and the connections to rouge elements prove the issues of Eritrea. This are just a few of them, there been more admissions in the past of the breaches of Human Rights, the lack of transparency and justice for the citizens. This proves the grand-issues of the Eritrean government and how they violate their own people. Peace.

Reference:

Keetharuth, Sheila B. – ‘A/HRC/35/39 – Eritrea’ (07.06.2017)

My letter to President Magufuli: seems like you need some love 2.0

Dear Sir, His Excellency (H.E.) President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania.

I am writing to you again, it strange how it comes to this. I wonder why it has turned to this. There was so much hope for you. You we’re a breath of fresh air, acted differently and seemed decent. Instead, the power has eaten your soul and you cannot handle critics or possible dossiers.

It seems like you have a little-man complex or power fatigue, as you expected to get showers of confetti and not get rainy days. I know it is weird, but life is usually what you serve it. If there are issues and corruption in the Mining Industry, it isn’t the tabloid paper Mawio, but it is the Mineral Extraction companies and civil servants who are corrupted. You should not have issues with the tabloid journalists in Mawio, they are just telling stories from Tanzania and from the different people that lives there. You should know this better than me, you are the Executive and running the Republic. Let’s take a brief look!

The Information minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe imposed the 24-month ban through a statement released to the media by the Director of Information services Dr Hassan Abbasi on Thursday evening” (…) “I have been left with no other option than to use powers conferred to me by the Information Services Act to impose a ban on Mawio from publication for the next 24 months,” read part of the letter from the minister to Mawio editor” (…) “Mawio was accused of ignoring a government directive on reporting of the former presidents. On Wednesday, President John Magufuli warned the media against linking Mkapa and Kikwete to the government minerals dispute with mining giant Acacia” (The Citizen, 2017).

I know you must feel hurt… feel the pain and the sorrow of maybe being involved in possible mineral dispute like your previous peers. I know that the precious heart of yours must be shattered. That this Mawio tabloid paper wrote such a hideous story exposing the current president, you Magufuli are compered with them. It seems like you have lost your heart…

That your heart was shattered, that the deep sorrow are coming over you. Magufuli you need love and passion, as you have so little compassion. As a president your expected to get support and praise, but this is opposite. What Mawio wrote was maybe distasteful of your wished reputation, but if your connected and letting the government do similar as your predecessors. Shouldn’t that be informed by the media?

Seemingly, you are the President and your precious feelings are getting hurt so often. That the press are writing stories and revealing the government matters, which they shouldn’t in your opinion. Well, many would be to differ, especially when try to dig deep, like even a weekly tabloid Mavio did on Wednesday.

Someone needs to give you love, make it compassionate and be a caregiver to you. Since you cannot handle criticism and critic of any kind. As President and as Executive, you should have the heart, have the understanding and handle the media, as they are there to be part of the checks and balances of your work, President!

Your government are weak and pathetic if it cannot handle that a tabloid write stories about it. President Magufuli, I know you need love, lots of it. You need it so much, that if someone now writes against you and your government you hurt them. The Ministry of Information are suspending them on your accord.

Your usually gets what your hearts seeks. Your emotions seems to run a bit hot lately, as over the last few months… you have been hard on the media and journalists for so, so long!

Can someone please… for the love of god and everything holy, give the President some love. So that he can act like fellow brother and not as heinous totalitarian leader, not as the leader people expected you to be!

Best Regard

Writer of Minbane

Mawio Newspaper Suspended – United Republic of Tanzania – Statement in Swahili

Reference:

The Citizen – ‘Tanzania slaps 2-year ban on newspaper for linking Kikwete, Mkapa to mining row’ (16.06.2017) link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Tanzania-tabloid-banned-Magufuli-minerals/2558-3973200-37oyx/index.html

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Individual Responsibility for Court Awards Arising out of Police Action” (13.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Arresting People for the Offence of Idle and Disorderly” (13.06.2017)

#SOTNUG17: A look into the Policing the NRM Way!

He was at it again for the 31st time or 30th since he didn’t do this in first year after the coup d’etat. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That being the old-man-with-the-hat having his first State of the Union in 1987. Times are changing but he is still not caring about facts or using his tricks to make himself look like a genius and savior. Even if there are far from it and makes sure the others are to blame. That is what President Museveni do. Therefore, I am just looking at parts of his speech, since there are many details and many things you could put a finger on and discuss. As it could be as simple as explaining the roads funds and research the pledged roads, which he said today was all paid by Government of Uganda (GoU), while if you look over the previous funding of the roads you would see the money might be foreign. Instead, I will look the security issues, the torture and the Policing. Because it is so important and the man trust IGP Kale Kayihura so much, who has made the Police a long-arm of the ruling regime. With that in mind, I had to focus on this and not on all the other subjects that the President spoke about. Take a look!

The Police do not have to wait for the crime to be committed. Through good intelligence, most crimes can be prevented. Most of the suspects arrested after the murder of Kawesi and others, even if they were not involved in the killing of Kawesi, they had committed other capital offences, many of which carry death sentences or life imprisonment. Why, then, were they still in circulation? That means somebody was not doing his or her work” (Museveni, 2017).

Mr. President, why wasn’t these men caught for the other cases, than the murder case of the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi. This case has been public and there been an awesome amount of possible suspects. These has been hundreds and even the kids of suspects has been detained. Therefore, that all of these might have other crimes on their hands, that might be true, but still they all could be innocent. So the President has decided their fate without trial, which is a rare, but common practice by the President.

The other day, I was in Kalerwe and the youth there were complaining of the Police arresting them for being “idle and disorderly”. This must stop completely. Some of the youth are idle because they do not have jobs. Why arrest them for that? The revolutionary should be like “fish in water”. A revolutionary should never be “fish in no water”” (Museveni, 2017).

As seen how the Police are working there are reports and studies on the subject, as the Police are the long-hand of the regime under the President. This can be quoted by: “One sub-county official explained that the activities of crime preventers are handled at the village level and news of them doesn’t reach his office, while another said they are too informal to discuss in a semi-structured interview with me. What happens in the village is not of concern, so long as it is not organized violent crime or resistance to the government. Although security groups are framed as local responses to local problems, the government retains the right to intervene and police their activities, frequently making arrests in relation to groups’ night patrols, the degree of force they employ and the appropriateness of their involvement in interpersonal conflicts” (Tapscott, 2017). So the are local policing that are framing the locals. These seems like the ones the President are talking about. Just similar stories even made the Police themselves in April 2017: “Tools like pangas, hammers and pick axes were provided to carry out their missions. The suspects also said that, the many youths were collected from parts of Kawempe Kalerwe Namugoona among others areas specifically to break into houses and once you were in the gang there was no way out. The IGP said criminals have used crime to be a business venture, and after the tension caused by these goons the police has taken action, and over 100 arrested and 50 appeared before court. Since then areas of Masaka are secure” (Uganda Police Force, 2017). So there apparently gangs, that are idle and unemployed as well. Certainly, there could be incidents where the police detain and arrest youths as a way of extorting them, since the payment for being a Police Officer in Uganda isn’t that splendid. This has been reported a lot of times and stories been told on the social media from all parts of Uganda.

The issue of alleged torture by the Police, was addressed by myself in the usual NRM/NRA way. We always combine educational methods (sensitization) and administrative methods (punishments, demotions, etc,). When these reports came up, I carried out analysis of torture and how it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? Let the “know-it-alls” be informed that the UPDF does what it does because of conviction. Okunyonyora (to explain, to sensitize) has been the life and blood of Fronasa, of the NRA, of the UPDF. To end this point, be informed that Uganda is free of war and it will remain so and the spike in lawlessness is being defeated even before we fill all the gaps and will be totally defeated when the gaps are filled” (Musveni, 2017).

The NRM Way are clearly not a healthy one, even if this is reported through the wits of NGO’s who know’s to much and cannot be trusted. This is what the President himself said. Because the UPDF are such wiseguys, since they are there voluntarily, But here is some quick reports of the torture, that has been also rampant part of the security organizations at places like Nalufenya. So this has been a discussed theme, but show’s the part of how the State in Uganda uses the Police Force and also other organizations in oppressive behavior.

Like these two reports: 

In similar fashion, presently, there is the recruitment of persons, undergoing rigorous training for purported legal purposes. Under the auspices of the Uganda Police, ‘crime preventers’ are being recruited and trained, ofcially, to fght crime.14 However, a critical assessment of this group reveals that it is a band of civilian vigilantes recruited by the government aimed at intimidating or reducing support for the political opposition through illegal means, including torture” (Chapter Four, P: 13, 2016).

Various reports indicate the following as some of the patterns of torture in Uganda.

i) Being held incommunicado – where a person is arrested, detained and no access is allowed and no opportunity to communicate with other people.

ii) Extra-judicial executions – where suspects are executed without going through the due process of law and in most cases where they lack sufficient evidence on a case.

iii) Threats and intimidation through text messages and phone calls.

iv) Enforced disappearance – where a person is arrested in context of terrorism and treason suspects then disappears with trace and explanation.

v) Cases of rape by government and rebel forces during the conflict in Northern Uganda” (ACTV, P: 21, 2015).

This is just the sensitization and the NRM way of torture, that is well-known, so when the President speaks so found of his army. I have a hard time believing him or trusting his words. Seems more like promising words and praising of UPDF. Since it solves everything, the Operation Wealth Creation are even parts of the UPDF. That should make you think and also consider the places of the army. Since the army and police force aren’t only there for security reasons, but also for political reasons. That is why the President has to praise the army.

I think this is enough for now! Peace.

Reference:

African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) – ‘THE SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF TORTURE IN UGANDA’ (November 2015)

Chapter Four – ‘Free Expression and Assembly in Peril ahead of 2016 Polls’ (2016)

Tapscott, Rebecca – ‘The Government Has Long Hands: Institutionalized Arbitrariness and Local Security Initiatives in Northern Uganda’ (06.03.2017) link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12294/full

Uganda Police Force – ‘MASAKA, KAMPALA CRIMINALS GANGS HAVE CONFESSED’ (24.04.2017) link: http://www.upf.go.ug/masaka-kampala-criminals-gangs-confessed/

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘State of The Nation Address’ – Republic of Uganda, Kampala (06.06.2017)

Joint NGO letter on Renewing the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea (05.06.2017)

Geneva, 5 June 2017

RE: Renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, write to urge your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea at the forthcoming 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. In view of the ongoing crimes under international law, including torture, enslavement and enforced disappearances, and violations of fundamental freedoms committed in Eritrea, the Special Rapporteur’s mandate remains an indispensable mechanism to advance the protection and promotion of human rights in Eritrea.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was established at the 20th UN Human Rights Council Session in 2012 to monitor the human rights situation in Eritrea. From June 2014-June 2016, the mandate was also represented on the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoI). The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was extended in July 2016 to follow-up on the recommendations of the CoI. It has been instrumental in monitoring the dire situation on the ground, highlighting on-going violations and the failure to implement the recommendations of the CoI and in providing a crucial platform to help amplify the voices and concerns of victims.

The findings of the CoI and UN Special Rapporteur reveal that the Eritrean authorities have continued to impose a broad range of unwarranted restrictions on fundamental human rights, precipitating mass migration, including of unaccompanied children. Despite commitments by the State to reduce national service to 18 months, indefinite national service and forced labor persist throughout the country. [1] Persons who attempt to avoid military conscription, take refuge abroad, practice an unsanctioned religion, or who criticise government officials continue to be arrested and imprisoned for lengthy periods. [2]

The absence of an independent judiciary means that victims of these human rights violations have no recourse to justice at home. As a result, in Eritrea impunity persists and those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances remain unaccounted for.

In light of these concerns, we respectfully request your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution during the 35th UN HRC session that renews the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, provides the mandate holder with all necessary support, and urges the Government of Eritrea to cooperate with the mandate holder including allowing unencumbered access to the country.

Sincerely,

Africa Monitors
Amnesty International
ARTICLE 19
Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea
CIVICUS
Connection e.V
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Eritrean Diaspora in East Africa
Eritrean Lowland League
Eritrean Law Society
Eritrea Focus
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights
Eritreans for Human and Democratic Rights – UK
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea
Human Rights Watch
Information Forum For Eritrea
International Fellowship of Reconciliation
International Service for Human Rights
Network of Eritrean Women
PEN Eritrea
People for Peace in Africa
Release Eritrea
Reporters Without Borders
Stop Slavery in Eritrea Campaign
War Resisters International

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