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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Final Communiqué of the 27th Extraordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights



Banjul, Republic of The Gambia

19 February to 4 March 2020

1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (Commission) held its 27th Extraordinary Session from 19 February to 4 March 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia.

2. The Commission considered Agenda items, in particular Communications, the Draft Rules of Procedure, various Reports and other outstanding issues
from the intersession period.

3. The Session was chaired by Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, Chairperson of the Commission, assisted by Honourable Commissioner Rémy Ngoy Lumbu, Vice-Chairperson.

4. The following Members of the Commission participated in the Session:

  1. Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, Chairperson;
  2. Honourable Commissioner Rémy Ngoy Lumbu, Vice-Chairperson;
  3. Honourable Commissioner Soyata Maïga;
  4. Honourable Commissioner Kayitesi Zainabo Sylvie;
  5. Honourable Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor;
  6. Honourable Commissioner Lawrence Murugu Mute;
  7. Honourable CommissionerJamesina Essie L. King;
  8. Honourable CommissionerEssaiem Hatem; and
  9. Honourable CommissionerMaria Teresa Manuela.

5. Honourable Commissioners Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen and Maya Sahli-Fadel were absent with apologies.

6. The Commission began its deliberations by considering and adopting the Agenda of the Session.

7. The Commission observed a minute of silence in memory of the late Honourable Med. S. K. Kaggwa, former Commissioner who passed away on 20 November 2019 in Kampala, Uganda. The Commission paid him a heartfelt tribute for his constant commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.

8. The Commission considered and adopted with amendments the following documents:

  1. Report of the Chairperson on the meetings of AU Policy Organs held in January and February 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
  2. 2020 Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  3. Report of the Advisory Committee on Budgetary and Staff Matters; and
  4. Rules on the Establishment and Functioning of Special Mechanisms of the Commission.

9. The Commission considered and adopted the report of the promotion mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho undertaken from 8 to 13 October 2018.

10. The Commission  considered and made comments on the following documents:

  1. Report on Audit of Communications;
  2. Report of the Secretariat on Follow-up Actions from the 65th Ordinary Session of the Commission;
  3. Proposal on the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan of the Commission;  
  4. Request from UNESCO to Establish a Working Group on the Protection of Journalists in Africa;
  5. Proposal on the Need to Undertake a Study on African Human Rights Defenders in Exile; and
  6. Rules for Effective Consultation by the ACHPR with Stakeholders on Norm Elaboration.

11. The Commission was provided an update on the following items:

  1. European Union Support Project for the Strengthening of the African Human Rights System (PANAF Project); and
  2. Draft 2021 Project Proposal and Budget of the Commission.

12. The Commission was briefed on the outcome of the Sensitization Seminar on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women in Africa that was held from 17 to 19 December 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.

13. The Commission considered a total of forty-six (46) Communications:

  1. Eight (8)Communications on Seizure: the Commission decided to be seized of seven (7), including one (1) with Provisional Measures, and dismissed one (1);
  2. Thirty-three (33)Communications on Admissibility: the Commission declared three (3) admissible and thirty (30) joint Communications inadmissible;
  3. Three (3) Communications on Merits: the Commission adopted a decision on all the three Communications;
  4. One (1)Request for Withdrawal of a Communication: the Commission took note and closed the case; and
  5. One (1)Request for Review of a Merits Decision: the Commission dismissed the request.

14. The Commission was provided an update on developments regarding an Application that is pending before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

15. The Commission adopted the following six (6) Resolutions:

  1. Resolution on the Post-Election Crisis in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  2. Resolution on the Extension of the Deadline for the Submission of the Draft Study on the Situation of Africa’s Sacred Natural Sites and Territories;
  3. Resolution on the Need to Develop a Study on the Situation of African Human Rights Defenders in Exile;
  4. Resolution on the Need to Develop Guidelines for Shadow Reporting;
  5. Resolution on the Need to Develop norms on the Obligations of States to Regulate Private Actors Involved in the Provision of Social Services; and
  6. Resolution on the Need to Prepare a Study on the Use of Force by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa.

16. The Commission organised a retreat with staff members of the Secretariat. The Commission agreed to work on proposals for addressing the issues affecting the proper functioning of the Commission. The Commission decided to institutionalise an annual retreat.

17. The Bureau of the Commission and the Commissioner responsible for monitoring the human rights situation in The Gambia held a working session with Hon.  Abubacarr Tambadou, Attorney-General and Minister of Justiceof the Republic of The Gambia on 27 February 2020.

18. The Commission expressed its profound gratitude to its outgoing Members, Honourable Commissioners Soyata Maïga, Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen, Lucy Asuagbor and Lawrence Murugu Mute; for their tremendous contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights on the African continent.

19. The Commission decided to hold its 66th Ordinary Session from 22 April to 12 May 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia. The Commission also decided to hold its 28th Extraordinary Session from 23 July to 8 August 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia.

20. The Commission expresses its sincere gratitude to the Government and people of the Republic of The Gambia for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to the Members of the Commission during the 27th Extraordinary Session.

 

Done in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, on 4 March 2020