208: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Senegal

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), meeting at its 11th Extraordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia, from 21 February to 1 March 2012;  

    RECALLING its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

    CONSIDERING the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the other regional and international human rights instruments and the Constitution of the Republic of Senegal;

    CONSIDERING, inter alia, Article 1 of the African Charter which stipulates that “The Member States of the Organization of African Unity, Parties to the present Charter shall recognize the rights, duties and freedoms enshrined in the Charter and shall undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them”;

    CONCERNED by the serious violations of the right to demonstrate, of the freedom of opinion, of expression and of assembly;

    DEEPLY CONCERNED by the atmosphere of insecurity characterized, on the eve of the presidential elections, by serious and repeated threats against the peace of civilians, by arbitrary arrests and acts of intimidation against the population in general and the Leaders of the Opposition in particular;   

    FURTHER CONCERNED by the use of force by law enforcement Officers who are firing live bullets at peaceful demonstrators resulting in the loss of lives; 

    CONCERNED about the current deteriorating human rights situation in Senegal which is likely to endanger the democracy, development and stability of the country;

    THE AFRICAN COMMISSION
    • STRONGLY CONDEMNS the persistent and serious human rights violations which are tarnishing the electoral campaign, and the use of force against peaceful demonstrators;
    • CALLS ON the Senegalese Government to guarantee the right to freedom of opinion, of expression, of assembly and of peaceful demonstration in conformity with the Constitution of Senegal;
    • URGES all the Parties to put an immediate end to the violence, and more particularly calls on the political Leaders, the presidential candidates and other stakeholders to refrain from all acts that may threaten public law and order;
    • CALLS ON the Government and the Opposition to initiate dialogue towards the resolution of their differences so as to foster the holding of free, peaceful and transparent elections;
    • URGES the Government of Senegal to guarantee, at this decisive moment in the history of the country, the security of all its citizens and that of the Leaders of the Opposition and to ensure that human rights and fundamental liberties are fully respected and guaranteed;
    • URGES the Government of Senegal put an end to all acts of intimidation, to immediately and unconditionally release the demonstrators who were arbitrarily arrested, and to take all the necessary measures to put an end to impunity by ensuring that all perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice;
    • URGES the Government of Senegal to honour its commitments under the African Charter, the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the other relevant human rights instruments to which Senegal is party;
    • FINALLY CALLS ON the African Union and the entire International Community to lend their support to the peaceful conclusion of the current electoral process in Senegal.


     

    Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 22 February 2012.

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