281: Resolution on the Right to Peaceful Demonstrations

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) meeting at its 55th Ordinary Session held from 28 April to 12 May 2014, in Luanda, Angola;,

Recalling its mandate to promote and ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Considering the rights and freedoms guaranteed in Articles 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights;

Further Considering the provisions of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials providing for conditions in which force may lawfully be used without violating human rights;

Concerned with the mass and arbitrary arrests and the continued detention of several people following peaceful demonstrations, with several reports of torture and ill-treatment in police stations;

Concerned also with the excessive use of force, live ammunition and tear gas to disperse peaceful demonstrators;

Concerned with the increasing level of sexual violence against female protesters, including cases of rape and sexual assaults in some countries;

Condemns serious restrictions imposed by some states to fundamental rights and freedoms specifically freedom of expression and the rights to information and peaceful demonstration;

Condemns the arbitrary arrests and detentions and killings of peaceful of demonstrators;

Calls on States Parties to:

Adopted at the 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Luanda, Angola, 28 April to 12 May 2014