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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Release on the Panel on Enforced Disappearances in Africa: Understanding the problem and identifying solutions

  • ACHPR Session
  • ACHPR Session

The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is pleased to inform the general public that on 22 October 2019, during the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, taking place in Banjul, The Gambia, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA), in collaboration with the Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa, and REDRESS, organised a panel discussion on Enforced Disappearances in Africa: Understanding the problem and identifying solutions.

Panellists included Commissioner Hatem Essaiem (Chairperson of the CPTA); Commissioner Sylvie Kayitesi (Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa); Eva Nudd (Legal Advisor on Enforced Disappearances in Africa at REDRESS); Federica Donati (Coordinator of the Equality, Non-discrimination and Participation Unit at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights); and Emad Irqayah (a survivor of enforced disappearance in Libya).

This overall objective of the Panel was to enhance awareness about the issue of enforced disappearances, understand the scale of the problem in Africa, and identify possible solutions.

The Panel highlighted the general situation of enforced disappearances in Africa; what qualifies as enforced disappearances, particularly from a legal perspective; the work of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; as well as the testimony of Mr Emad Irqayah who shared his experience of enforced disappearance, as well as the experience of other victims that he works with in Libya.

The CPTA and the Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa convey their sincere gratitude to the panellists and all the stakeholders who contributed to the Panel discussion, and remain seized of this important matter.

23 October 2019, Banjul, The Gambia