26 January 2011, Banjul, The Gambia – The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights wishes to inform its publics that at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) will undertake a Human Rights Defenders Mission to the Republic of Cameroon from 1 to 7 February 2011.

The Mission, which is part of the African Commission’s promotion mandate, is being undertaken in accordance with Article 45(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with the objective of engaging with relevant stakeholders to among other things, exchange views on ways and means of enhancing the enjoyment of human rights in the country. (more…)

Brussels, 21 January 2011 – A 022/11 – The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“The High Representative deplores the decision of an Israeli military court to increase to 16 months the sentence of Mr. Abdallah Abu Rahma, a peaceful Palestinian activist committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in. She recalls the legitimate right of the Palestinians to engage in peaceful demonstrations”.

NEW DELHI (21 January 2011) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, expressed her concern for a contraction of the space for civil society in India, despite the country’s “comprehensive and progressive legal framework as a guarantor of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the existence of the National Human Rights Commission as well as a number of state and statutory commissions mandated to promote and protect human rights.”

“I am particularly concerned at the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalized people, i.e. Dalits, Adavasis (tribals), religious minorities and sexual minorities, who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities,” Ms. Sekaggya said at the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country. (more…)

GENEVA (14 January 2011) – A group of UN independent human rights experts* urged the Tunisian Government to control the use of force against peaceful demonstrators, after 21 deaths were officially confirmed over the weekend of 8-9 January. Credible human rights organizations have reported a much higher number of killings since the beginning of the protests in mid-December.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, warned that “the killing of innocent civilians is a clear violation of international law and is totally unacceptable in any society.” (more…)

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