185: Resolution on the Safety of Journalists and Media Practitioners in Africa

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), meeting at its 49th Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 28 April – 12 May 2011:

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

Underscoring that freedom of expression and access to information are fundamental human rights guaranteed by Article 9 of the African Charter, and other international and regional human rights treaties;

Reaffirming its commitment to promote the rights of all peoples “to national and international peace and security” in line with Article 23 of the African Charter;

Further reaffirming its commitment to protect the rights of journalists and media practitioners in Africa to freedom of expression and access to information;

Recalling Resolution ACHPR/Res.62 (XXXII) 02 on the adoption of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, which elaborates on the scope of Article 9 of the African Charter; Resolution ACHPR/Res.54 (XXIX) 01 on the Situation of Freedom of Expression in Africa; Resolution ACHPR/Res.99 (XXXX) 06 on the Deteriorating Situation of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa;

Recalling the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1738 (2006), which condemns attacks against journalists in conflict situations, and UNESCO Resolution 29(1997) on "Condemnation of Violence Against Journalists" adopted by the UNESCO General Conference ;

Noting that freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information can only be enjoyed when journalists and media practitioners are free from intimidation, pressure and coercion;

Concerned by the declining safety and security situation of journalists and media pr actitioners in some African countries;

Noting that killings, attacks and kidnapping of journalists, which are contrary to international humanitarian and human rights law, are often committed in an environment of impunity;

Deeply concerned about the frequency of allegations of the violations of killings and injury against journalists and media practitioners;

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 12 May 2011.