Reine Alapini-Gansou

Activities as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders


    INTERSESSION ACTIVITY REPORT

    ( November 2011- April 2012)

    By

    Madam REINE ALAPINI GANSOU

    Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa

     

     51st Ordinary Session

    Banjul, 18 April 2012 - 2 May 2012


    INTRODUCTION

    1.     The present Report has been prepared in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights under its Article 72 and Resolutions ACHPR/ 69(XXXV) 04 of 4 June 2004 and n° ACHPR/Res.202 (L) 11 of 5 November 2011.

    2. This Report focuses on the promotion and protection activities undertaken in my capacity as Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa since the 50th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 24 October – 5 November 2011. 

    I.                   PROMOTION ACTIVITIES

    3. During the period under consideration my activities consisted of Seminars, Workshops and Conferences organized with the various stakeholders as well as requests to conduct promotional visits to the States Parties. Moreover I engaged in collaborative activities with the Institutions and Organs active in the field of human rights and in particular that of Human Rights Defenders.

    A.      Seminars, Workshops and Conferences

    4. Within the context of the above mentioned activities I participated in the following:

    (a)     Johannesburg Conference organized from 21 to 23 November 2011on the Quest for Space for Civil Society in Africa

    5.    This Conference was organized by the Centre for Citizens’ Participation of the African Union and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and had as Theme: « Protecting Democracy: Seeking a space for Civil Society in Africa». This Conference was organized in response to the unremitting concern expressed by the Civil Society Organizations in view of their ever narrowing dialogue and operational space in the States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

    6.    The exchanges between participants from Non-Governmental Organizations and International Institutions consisted in outlining improved strategies for adoption by Civil Society to ascertain its participation in the democratic process as part of the dialogue with the State Institutions thereby contributing to the development of human rights and civic education.

    7.     The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ interest in being involved in such an exercise resides in the fact that within the African human rights promotion and protection System it remains the key Organ entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the effective implementation of human rights on the Continent. The right to peace and development is underpinned by good governance and respect for the popular will, as well as respect for democratic change, among other things. It is in this respect that I undertook to make a presentation on the African Commission and briefly outlined some of the activities it has already carried out within the framework of the topic of this meeting.  

    8.     Among other things, this event sought to achieve greater synergy between the actors of civil society and increased collaboration between civil society actors and the ACHPR. The suggestion was also made for civil society stakeholders to engage in increased dialogue at the national level with the States Parties.

    (b)     Seminar on the 30th Anniversary of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Lilongwe, Malawi, 23 to 24 January 2012

    9.     At the invitation of the Malawi Human Rights and Rehabilitation Centre and that of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, I participated in a Seminar which sought to take stock of the 30 years of the Charter’s existence and to assess its impact on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Malawi and in Southern Africa.

    10. More specifically, I had been invited to present a Paper on the role of the African Commission’s Special Mechanisms in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. In this context I gave a general overview of the ACHPR’s special mechanisms and focused my presentation on the Mechanism of Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders who has a greater role to play in Civil Society issues in Africa.

    11.  In short, it should be recalled that the establishment of special mechanisms in Africa started in 1995 with the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings set up in 1995 and which since then is on hold within the Commission. That of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders was created in 2004.  

    12. My interest in participating in this meeting dwells on the fact that numerous Human Rights Defenders, in particular those in Malawi, have very little knowledge of the ACHPR in terms of its history and strategic actions, and as a result every opportunity should be seized to share the achievements, challenges and perspectives of the ACHPR.

    13. At the end of this Seminar the stakeholders, voiced their satisfaction, among other things, while expressing the wish to see gender activities reiterated in building the capacities of human rights defenders. 

    (c)     Meetings with Civil Society Activists, Addis Ababa, 24 to 30 January 2012

    14.  On the sidelines of my participation in the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, I held several meetings with the Civil Society activists, in particular the representatives of the Cairo Human Rights Institute and the members of the NGO Coalition for South Sudan and South Kordofan with significant scientific support from Civil Society.

     Working Sessions with the Representatives of the Cairo Human Rights Institute  

    15.  I held several meetings with our partners on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Egypt. Egypt as we know has since January 2011 been going through major problems due to its political crisis and Human Rights Defenders, in my view, are always the last to be considered in any activity that takes place relating to the restoration of democratic in that country. The partners that I met expressed their serious concern in relation to the Rule of Law in Egypt and called for the vigilance of the African Commission.

    16.      At the end of these meetings I expressed the wish to conduct a promotion mission of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Egypt to take better stock of the situation. A Note Verbale has been sent in this regard. I also made a commitment to undertake joint action and to organize meetings, even within an informal context, if need be.

    Meeting with the NGO Coalition for South Sudan and South Kordofan

    17.      This meeting was jointly organized by the FIDH and the Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Studies. I participated in it on the special request of the representatives of these two Bodies.

    18.      I was required to share with more than 60 participants the activities undertaken by the ACHPR in relation to the human rights situation in Sudan. In this respect I recalled the Resolutions that we had passed, the various promotional visits conducted by the ACHPR to that country, in particular in 2004 and 2009, and the Reports on the human rights situation in Sudan submitted to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union within the framework of our Activity Reports.

    19.      The important point that emanated from this meeting is the fact that we need to continue monitoring the human rights situation in South Sudan and in Sudan very closely; in fact we can hardly do otherwise considering the current political events in these two countries. The ACHPR should therefore pursue its strategic action in human rights promotion in this region of Africa.

    (d)     Consultations between the Human Rights Defenders of the Middle East and North Africa and the International and Regional Human Rights Mechanisms, Cairo, Egypt, 13 - 14 April 2012

    20.      On  the initiative of the International Department of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies I participated in the Consultation organised in Cairo on the Theme: ‘Human Rights Defenders of the Middle East and North Africa and the International and Regional Human Rights Mechanisms’. The Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Human Rights Defenders, the representatives of the Arab League, the representatives of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Association, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression, the mainstay and experts of the Arab world as well as the representatives of several human rights organizations from the region and from the world at large, namely Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain participated in this Consultation, which could thus be considered as a joint action.

    21.      Several topics were discussed during the Consultation, in particular the role of the United Nations and that of the ACHPR in supporting and protecting Human Rights Defenders; the state of the freedom of expression in North Africa and the Middle East countries; the relations between the Arab League and the UN and African human rights mechanisms. The participants debated these themes at length in the light of the current political events in the region since the triggering of the Arab Spring.

    22.      The Speakers highlighted the progress made since the advent of the Arab democratic revival, in particular in the areas of freedom of expression and of peaceful demonstration. They however voiced genuine fear in relation to the reprisals against the protestors and against male and female journalists.  

    23.       My participation in this Consultation was, among other things, the culmination of other meetings held in Addis Ababa with the representatives of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. During my presentation I spoke about the African Commission and the efforts it deploys in the context of its human rights protection mandate in North Africa. I highlighted in particular the Resolutions of the ACHPR on North Africa, the seizure of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the case of Libya and the promotion missions that the African Commission had conducted even before the Arab Spring. I also made a special presentation on the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa and on the Study Group on the Freedom of Association established by the ACHPR under the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa. In this context I expressed the need for closer collaboration with the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the Freedom of Association.   

    24.      During this Consultation, all the stakeholders underscored the great need for interaction between the United Nations and ACHPR special human rights defender mechanisms and the States’ obligations in the promotion and protection of the rights of Human Rights Defenders, particularly in view of the various restrictions to the working space of these human rights defenders, of the interference by the States in their work and the systematic refusal to provide the Human Rights Defenders with security measures.  

    25.      Furthermore, the participants highlighted the need for Human Rights Defenders to have a right to receive funding, to their use of the Internet as a means of communication, to have access to the platforms used for imparting respect for human rights and democracy and the importance of involving women defenders, the youth and the entire society in promoting the culture of human rights.  

    26.      During this Consultation the participants also discussed the role of the United Nations and that of the ACHPR in supporting Human Rights Defenders, the new developments regarding the freedom of expression in North Africa, the opportunities and challenges in relation to the commitment of Human Rights Defenders and among other things, human rights violations during demonstrations and restrictions to the freedom of association.

    27.      Finally, particular emphasis was placed on the situation of Human Rights Defenders who collaborate with the United Nations and the ACHPR, on the risks they run and the protection measures to be guaranteed them.  

    28.       The special interest that I drew from these highly important consultations was the fact that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Special Rapporteur of the ACHPR on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa had the opportunity to hold discussions, at a personal level, with the Human Rights Defenders, with the Women Human Rights Defenders and the Defenders active in the areas of freedom of expression and of association. The outcome of these discussions was a call for greater, concerted action for the benefit of Human Rights Defenders through capacity building and protection of their lives.    

    B. Inter-Organ Cooperation  

    29.    In this area, I undertook the following activities:

    (a)     Meeting of the Special Mechanisms of the United Nations and the African Human Rights System, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 to 19 January 2012

    30.      On the initiative of the United Nations representative for East Africa (UNECA), I participated in the first Consultations of the Special Mechanisms of the United Nations and of the African Commission, of Civil Society, the African Union Agencies and several Experts from Africa and Geneva. Its objective, among others, was to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations Special Mechanisms and those of the African Commission.

    This meeting was the outcome of numerous formal and informal contacts between the ACHPR and the United Nations representative for East Africa. The ACHPR was represented by the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders and my colleagues, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers, the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Places of Detention in Africa and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, the Environment and Human Rights violations in Africa. An exhaustive report of the said meeting has already been made to the 11th Extraordinary Session of the ACHPR held in Banjul from 21 to 28 February 2012.

    31.       However, it should be noted that at the end of this meeting, the decision was taken to develop common working methods for the realization of tangible results within our mandates through, notably, the organization of joint visits and activities.

    32.      The importance of my participation in this meeting lies in the need to ensure the effectiveness of my interventions within the framework of my mandate and to coordinate my activities. A small working group comprising 4 members (two representatives from the United Nations and two from the African Commission) was set up to establish cooperation between the mechanisms active in human rights issues within the UN and the ACHPR.

    (b)     Fourth Inter-Mechanisms meeting FIDH- OMCT , Geneva, Switzerland, 8 to 9 March 2012

    33.      This meeting, held on the sidelines of the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council, sought to pursue synergic action engaged by the human rights protection mechanisms of the UN, ACHPR and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, the International Organization of Francophony, and the European Union. It is an initiative which started in 2008 and which constitutes a melting pot for in-depth reflection on emerging topics on the protection of Human Rights Defenders. It is also intended to facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons to be learnt in the face of apparent challenges in identifying strategies to be implemented for enhanced coordination and cooperation between the existing mandates on Human Rights Defenders.

    34.      This inter-mechanism meeting also brought together a large number of Civil Society Organizations based in Geneva active in the field of human rights protection. On this occasion I led the debate on the freedom of association by focusing my intervention on the right of human rights defenders to receive and have access to funds, including foreign financing.

    35.      At the end of this meeting, a joint Press Release calling for an end to the reprisals against Human Rights Defenders was published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa and the Special Rapporteur of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Human Rights Defenders.  

    C. Cooperation with the States Parties

    36.      In my capacity as Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and Commissioner responsible for human rights promotion in certain countries, I had, during the intersession, conveyed requests to conduct promotional visits. Within this context I sent twelve (12) Note Verbales to the following States Parties: Angola, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Rwanda, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

    37.      Togo conveyed approval for me to conduct a promotional visit in my capacity as Commissioner responsible for Human Rights Promotion in that country, and as Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa. I am currently in contact with Tunisia and Côte d’Ivoire.  I have not yet received a response from the other States. I will nonetheless continue to make the necessary follow up to obtain approval from these countries for the said visits.

    II. PROTECTION ACTIVITIES

    38.      My protection activities related essentially to individual cases of human rights violations brought to my attention. In this respect I drafted nineteen (19) letters and issued two (2) Press Releases.

    A. Communications

    39.      During the period under review, I received several reports of allegations of human rights violations against Human Rights Defenders. Sequel to an in-depth examination of this information, I held discussions with fifteen (15) States Parties, namely Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Uganda, Central African Republic (CAR), Rwanda, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/984/11 of 16 December 2011, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Angola regarding the situation of the NGO OMUNGA in relation to the disruption of peaceful protests. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/997/11 of 22 December 2011, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Congo regarding the arrest of Mr. Rémy Alain Blaise Boumba, Co-Chair of the Consultation for the Upgrading of the Teaching Profession. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letters no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/85/12 of 7 February 2012 and no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/329/12 and no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/331/12 of 20 April 2012, I conveyed communications to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, relating respectively to the burning of the residence of Mr. Dismas Kitenge, Chairperson of the LOTUS Group and Vice-Chairperson of FIDH, to the death threats issued against Madam Justine MASIKA Bihamba, Coordinator of the Women’s Cooperative for Victims of Sexual Abuse and to the assassination of Mr. Mbatswe Mushunju, member of CREDDHO and traditional leader of the Kibati Group in North Kivu. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/332/12 of 20 April 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Djibouti regarding the arrest and detention of Mr. Farah Abadid Heldid, member of the Djiboutian Human Rights League. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/964/11 of 2 December 2011, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Guinea pertaining to the arrest and detention of Me Foromo Frédéric Loua, Chairperson of the Association « Equal Rights for All » and his Protection Assistants, Mr. Tossa Montcho, Coordinator, Mr. Pierre Camara, Programme Director, Ms. Fatouma Bangoura and Mr. Boniface Loua. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/983/11 of 16 December 2011, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea concerning the arrest and detention of Mr. Marcial Abaga Barril, Head of the Association for Youth Human Rights Education. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/21/12 of 10 January 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Malawi regarding the arrest and detention of the following human rights defenders: Habib Osman, Billy Mayaya, Brian Nyasulu, Ben Chiza Mkandawire and Comfort Chitseko. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    - By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/86/12 of 7 February 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania concerning the arrest and detention of Lehbous Ould Omar, Ely Ould Ravaa, Ell Mehdy Ould Lemrabott and Abdallahy Abou Diop, members of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA). By its letter no 019/2012/AMBA/RIM/BJL, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in The Gambia transmitted the Note Verbale from its Government referenced 451/MAEC of 13 March 2012 in which it refutes the allegations of illegal detention; informs the Commission that the members of the IRA had been released out of respect for the rules of procedure and outlines the legal measures taken to combat slavery in Mauritania;

    -By letters no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/08/12 of 10 January 2012 and no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/328/12 of 20 April 2012, I sent two communications to the Government of the Republic of Nigeria pertaining respectively to the arrest and detention of Mr. Osmond Ugwu, Chairperson of the NGO Civil Liberties Organization in Enugu and the judicial harassment of Mr. Chidi Odinaklu, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/65/12 of 23 January 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Uganda regarding the assassination in Kampala of Charles Ingabire, Rwandan Journalist. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/330/12 of 20 April 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) in relation to the arrest and detention of Me. Ferdinand Samba, Director of Publications of the Newspaper “The Democrat”. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    - By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/09/12 of 10 January 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Rwanda relative to the arrest and detention of Mr. Joseph Bideri, Editor of the Newspaper “The New Times Publications”. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/327/12 of 20 April 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania regarding the arrest and brief detention and the harassment of the following human rights defenders: Dr. Helen Kijo Bisimba, Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre, Focal Point for the East and Horn of Africa Organization Project of Human Rights Defenders in Tanzania (CLDH), Mr. Marcus Albany, Ms. Anna Migila and the Counsel Godfrey Mpandikizi, the Members of CLDH, Ms. Erin Riley, an Intern at the Canadian Bar, Mrs. Ananilea Nkya, the Executive Director of the Association of Media Women of Tanzania (AFMT), Mr. Irenei Kiria the Executive Director of SIKIKA and Ms. Anna Kikwa. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    - By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/998/11 of 22 December 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Tunisia pertaining to insults and threats against Madam Najet Laabidi, Lawyer. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    -By letter no ACHPR/SM/HRDA/07/12 of 10 January 2012, I sent a communication to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe regarding the arrest and detention of Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda, senior officials of the PSMZ and that of Gilbert Mabusa. To date no response has been received by the Office of the Special Rapporteur;

    40.      A table of the said violations is being prepared for distribution to the stakeholders.

     B. Press Releases

    41.       On 16 January 2012, I published a Press Release commending the release by the Chadian Authorities of Mr. Daniel Deuzoumbe Passalet, Chairperson of the Association of Human Rights without Borders in Chad.

    42.       The second Press Release published on 19 April 2012 refers to the case of Mr. Mohamed Smain said to be the object of judicial harassment in Algeria.

    ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND CONCLUSION

     43.      Besides the fact that Human Rights Defenders have been subjected to numerous human rights violations as outlined above, the Special Rapporteur observes that the situation of Human Rights Defenders remains a matter of concern. Their working conditions are subjected to legal restrictions in some States Parties. In Egypt and in Ethiopia the Special Rapporteur has observed that the Legislator has enacted highly restrictive laws in relation to access to funding for the activities of human rights defenders. These laws, at their reading, violate the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and make it impossible for them to exercise their mandate while exposing them to legal sanctions.

    44.      The situation of Human Rights Defenders has also worsened in countries which have organized presidential and legislative elections. The cases of greatest concern are the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt since no credible information on the situation of human rights defenders in Guinea Bissau and in Mali has reached us, whereas human rights violations can be observed in the country generally. In Libya on the other hand we observe the emergence of a civil society which is highly conscious of its underdevelopment and which requires support in terms of capacity building, training and security strategies.

    45.      Cooperation between the States and the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders has not been very strong during the period under review. Despite the numerous letters addressed to the States Parties regarding cases of allegations of human rights violations and the Note Verbales requesting authorization to conduct promotional visits, the results have not been up to expectations. This lack of collaboration on the part of some States does not facilitate the rigorous monitoring of cases and the efficient protection of Human Rights Defenders. In effect, this state of affairs destroys the efforts at dialogue undertaken by the Special Rapporteur in this respect for a successful accomplishment of her mandate. 

    46.      The Special Rapporteur however notes some positive aspects which deserve to be highlighted within the framework of the cooperation with the States Parties: For example, Togo has authorized a promotional visit by the Mechanism for May 2012. A joint visit to Tunisia by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa is also scheduled for the month of September 2012. The Mauritanian Government for its part has responded to my letter no. ACHPR/SM/HRDA/86/12 of 7 February 2012 relative to situation of four human rights defenders.

    47.      On the basis of the foregoing it can be said that it is possible to forge constructive dialogue and good relations between the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur and the States Parties and that the States which participate in our different sessions may well draw examples from the models that I have just described to enable us acquire an accurate and transparent idea of their commitment to the ACHPR.  

    48.      In conclusion, the activities that I undertook with the human rights defender networks on the sidelines of the present session and during the NGO Forum reinforce my intersession activities and confirm the various challenges that I have outlined in the presentation of my promotion and protection activities.

    49.      In this perspective, please allow me Madam Chairperson, to recall that during the 50th Session my colleagues renewed their confidence in me by entrusting me, for the third time, with the Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders in Africa. Thus, I hereby make a commitment to accomplish this mandate with all the required professionalism and tact. I have therefore designed an Action Plan for the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa under the sign of renewal in continuity. This Action Plan takes into account the requirements of all the stakeholders, notably those of the States Parties, of the human rights defenders and of our different partners. It also takes into account the action engaged by the mandate in collaboration with the actors of civil society on the theme - Freedom of Association, as directed by the ACHPR under its 2010 Resolution. I also pursued my Communication Plan with the publication of the 6th Issue of the Rapporteur’s Letter within our Information Bulletin which remains an effective educational tool for the promotion of our activities.

     

    RECOMMENDATIONS

     50.          On the basis of the analysis of the human rights situation which I have just presented and the conclusions drawn, I recommend:

    -          To the States Parties  

    ·       To take all appropriate measures to help Human Rights Defenders better exercise their mandate and this in conformity with the international human rights promotion and protection standards;

    ·       To take appropriate measures for the protection of Human Rights Defenders;

    ·       To provide Human Rights Defenders with financial and material support necessary for the effective accomplishment of their mandate;

    ·       To collaborate effectively with the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, in particular by reacting to the Letters and Note Verbales addressed to them;

    ·       To take all necessary measures for the repeal of all legal instruments restrictive of the smooth functioning of the activities of human rights defenders;

     -          To Civil Society Organizations

    ·       To increase opportunities of cooperation with the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa;

    ·       To increase mutual exchanges on Human Rights Defenders’ protection strategies;

    ·       To establish constructive dialogue with the States Parties for the improved promotion and protection of Human Rights Defenders in Africa.

    -           To the various Partners;

    ·       To continue supporting the mandate notably by promoting it and assisting it in the implementation of its Action Plan;

    ·       To continue providing both financial and material support to Human Rights Defenders to facilitate the realization of their mandate of human rights promotion and protection in Africa.

     

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