Monthly Archives: March 2014

Comments Off on Press Release by the Special Rapporteur

Press Release by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa on the arrest of Mr Thulani Rudolf Maseko and Mr Bheki Makhubu

The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Commissioner Reine-Alapini Gansou are concerned about reports of restrictions to freedom of expression, judicial harassment, persecution, as well as arbitrary arrest and detention in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

In particular, they are concerned that Mr. Thulani Rudolf Maseko, a prominent human rights lawyer and defender who is also a senior member of the Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland, was arrested on 17 March 2014. It would be recalled that Mr. Maseko was also arrested on 3 June 2009 and on 4 June 2009 charged for uttering words with a subversive intention, contrary to a section of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (Act No 46 of 1938 as amended). Mr. Bheki Makhubu, Editor-in-Chief of the Nation Magazine on the other hand, was arrested on 18 March 2014.

Mr. Maseko and Mr. Makhubu, are being charged with two counts for the offence of contempt of court alleging that they violated and undermined the dignity, repute and authority of the High Court of Swaziland by publishing malicious and contemptuous statements in the monthly Nation Magazine, about the case of The King v Bhantsana Vincent Gwebu.                            

Mr. Maseko and Mr. Makhubu are still in custody and were set to appear in court on 25 March 2014 for their bail hearing. On 25 March 2014, through an order made by Justice Mpendulo Simelane after a Court Session in Mbabane, they were remanded in custody for 7 more days until 1 April 2014. The accused persons are concerned that their continued prolonged detention amounts to pre-trial punishment.

The Special Rapporteurs express their concern on reports of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and charges against Mr. Maseko and Mr. Makhubu. In this regard, they would like to remind the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland of its international obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Kigali Declaration, the Grand Bay Declaration and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa (the Declaration). In particular, they draw the King of the Kingdom of Swaziland’s attention to Principles I (1) and II of the Declaration which provides that “no one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with his or her freedom of expression” and that “any restrictions on freedom of expression shall be provided by law, serve a legitimate interest and be necessary in a democratic society”.

The Special Rapporteurs further draw the King’s attention to Principle XI (1) of the Declaration which provides that “…intimidation of and threats to media practitioners and others exercising their right to freedom of expression…undermines independent journalism, freedom of expression and the free flow of information to the public;” and Principle XI (2) which puts an obligation on State Parties “to take effective measures to prevent such attacks and, when they do occur, to investigate them, to punish perpetrators and to ensure that victims have access to effective remedies.”     

The Special Rapporteurs call on the King to ensure that human rights defenders are able to conduct their activities in a safe and conducive environment.

The Special Rapporteurs urge the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland, to order the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Maseko and Mr. Makhubu, and withdraw all charges against them. The Special Rapporteurs further urge the Swazi authorities to take the necessary measures to stop all acts of judicial harassment and intimation carried out against human rights defenders working in Swaziland and to respect and guarantee their right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The Special Rapporteur would also like to encourage the Swazi authorities to continue their efforts towards ensuring the physical integrity and the safety of human rights defenders in Swaziland.

Done in Banjul, 27 March 2014

Communiqué de presse de la Rapporteure Spéciale sur la Liberté d’Expression et l’Accès à l’Information en Afrique et de la Rapporteure Spéciale sur les Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme en Afrique sur l’arrestation de M. Thulani Rudolf Maseko et de M. Bheki Makhubu

La Rapporteure Spéciale sur la Liberté d’Expression et l’Accès à l’Information en Afrique, Commissaire Pansy Tlakula, et la Rapporteure Spéciale sur les Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme en Afrique, Commissaire Reine Alapini-Gansou, sont préoccupées par les rapports de restrictions de la liberté d’expression, de harcèlement judiciaire, de persécution,  d’arrestation et de détention arbitraires qui leur parviennent du Royaume du Swaziland.

Elles sont particulièrement préoccupées par l’arrestation, le 17 mars 2014, de M. Thulani Rudolf Maseko, éminent avocat et défenseur des droits de l’homme, mais également membre émérite de Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland. M. Maseko avait déjà été arrêté en  juin 2009 pour avoir tenu des propos subversifs, ce, en violation d’un article de la Loi sur la Sédition et les Activités Subversives (loi n° 46 de 1938 telle que modifiée). M. Bheki Makhubu, Rédacteur en chef du Nation Magazine, quant à lui, a été arrêté le 18 mars 2014.

M. Maseko et M. Makhubu sont inculpés, pour outrage et atteinte à la dignité, à la réputation et à l’autorité de la Haute Cour du Swaziland, au motif qu’ils ont publié dans  le Mensuel Nation Magazine des déclarations malveillantes et méprisantes dans le cadre de l’affaire Roi c/Bhantsana Vincent Gwebu.

M. Maseko et M. Makhubu sont toujours en détention et devaient comparaître le 25 mars 2014 devant un tribunal pour leur libération sous caution. Le 25 mars 2014, ils ont été maintenus en détention provisoire pour 7 jours supplémentaires, jusqu’au 1er avril 2014, par décision du juge Mpendulo Simelane au tribunal de Mbabane. Les accusés sont préoccupés de ce que leur détention prolongée constitue une punition d’avant procès.

Les Rapporteures Spéciales expriment leur inquiétude quant aux circonstances dans lesquelles ces défenseurs des droits de l’homme sont arrêtés et détenus. A cet égard, elles voudraient rappeler au Gouvernement du Royaume du Swaziland ses obligations internationales en vertu de la Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples, de la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les défenseurs des droits de l’homme, de la Déclaration de Kigali, de la Déclaration de Grand Baie et de la Déclaration de Principes sur la Liberté d’Expression en Afrique (la Déclaration). Elles attirent particulièrement l’attention du Roi du Royaume du Swaziland sur le Principe II de la Déclaration qui dispose : (1) « Aucun individu ne doit faire l’objet d’une ingérence arbitraire à sa liberté d’expression » et (2) « Toute restriction à la liberté d’expression doit être imposée par la loi, servir un objectif légitime et être nécessaire dans une société démocratique ».

Les Rapporteures Spéciales attirent en outre l’attention du Roi sur le Principe XI (1) de la Déclaration qui dispose :  « …… l’intimidation et la menace contre des journalistes ou d’autres personnes exerçant leur droit à la liberté d’expression …… sape le journalisme indépendant, la liberté d’expression et la libre circulation des informations vers le public » ; et le Principe XI(2)qui dispose : « Les Etats sont dans l’obligation de prendre des mesures efficaces en vue de prévenir de telles attaques et, lorsqu’elles sont perpétrées, mener une enquête à cet effet, punir les auteurs et veiller à ce que les victimes aient accès à des recours efficaces. »     

Les Rapporteures Spéciales exhortent le Roi à veiller à ce que les défenseurs des droits de l’homme puissent mener leurs activités dans un environnement sûr et propice.

Les Rapporteures Spéciales demandent au Gouvernement du Royaume du Swaziland d’ordonner la libération immédiate et sans condition de M. Maseko et M. Makhubu, et le retrait de toutes les accusations portées contre eux. Elles exhortent en outre les autorités du Swaziland à prendre les mesures nécessaires pour mettre fin à tous les actes de harcèlement judiciaire et d’intimation menées contre les défenseurs des droits de l’homme travaillant au Swaziland et à respecter et à garantir leur droit à la liberté d’opinion et d’expression.

Elles voudraient également encourager les autorités du Swaziland à poursuivre leurs efforts visant à garantir l’intégrité physique et la sécurité des défenseurs des droits de l’homme au Swaziland.

Fait à Banjul, le 27 mars 2014        

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Comments Off on Statement of South Africa Forum on International Solidarity (SAFIS) for immediate releas

28 March 2014

 

Statement of South Africa Forum on International Solidarity (SAFIS) for immediate release

SAFIS is responding to South Africa’s proposed amendments to the Draft Resolution on the protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protest, currently under consideration at the Twenty Fifth (25) Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council under agenda item 3.

SAFIS is raising serious concerns with South Africa’s complete disregard of the country’s Constitutional foundation and guaranteed rights promoting and protecting the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration.  These amendments are in absolute contradiction of the spirit and purport of the Constitution which brought to end the repressive regime of apartheid. The country is making great strides in ensuring gatherings of collectives are treated as rights and not as mere privileges as was during the dark periods of apartheid. The month of March is dedicated to commemoration of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre which left 69 people brutally killed and 109 injured. We are concerned that South Africa would violate observing this critical period by engaging in actions that have the potential to infringe the right to freedom of assembly.

The civil society continues engaging the government to increase its protective mechanism on the ground to out root the culture of police brutality and impunity where it acts seriously to ensure its horrific history of human rights abuses is not further tarnished. Since 2008 the country has been inundated with over 1200 service delivery protests per month which ended bringing the country human rights records to disrepute and haunted by the Marikana Massacre, AndriesTetane and other innocent citizens whose human rights continue to be violated by law enforcers.  South Africa should use its domestic human rights dispensation to guard against violation of this right nationally, regionally and globally by states parties and encourage the states to fulfill their responsibility to protect citizens by facilitation of g conducive environments for assemblies.  SAFIS calls the Minister of DIRCO, her Excellency Maite Nkoana- Mashabane to urge the South African officials in Geneva to withdraw all the 5 amendments and to support the resolution as tabled. SAFIS has the following concerns about the amendments:

  • The amendments would substitute a call for the development of concrete guidelines for facilitation and protection of peaceful protests based on good practice which will assist States to promote and protect human rights in the context of peaceful assembly, with further regional consultations on the management of assembles
  • The adding of a reference to the UN General Assembly Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States, whose provisions are not clearly related to the protection of protesters’ of human rights, would portray protests as not being driven by local constituencies
  • Proposed language regarding the possible threat of protests to the stability of the State, is both inconsistent with existing international human rights law and open to subjective interpretation, therefore undermining the protection of protesters’ human rights
  • Proposed additional language on the responsibilities of protesters are worded to deflect from the responsibility of States to protect individuals from human rights violations
  • The amendments also suggest language that confuses the message that international human rights standards ought to underpin national legislation and policies

By SAFIS Contact: 27 11 333 1730

South Africa Forum on International Solidarity (SAFIS) is a broad-based platform that brings together individuals, civil society organisations; labour, interfaith base organisations, youth and women formations around a common goal of supporting other people’s struggles for human rights and justice across the world.

Endorsement by

Legal Resources Centre

SWEAT

Marianne Buenaventura Goldman

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Comments Off on THE 55TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AND THE 29TH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS BOOKFAIR

THE 55TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS
AND THE 29TH  AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS BOOKFAIR

THE NGO FORUM: 24TH- 26TH APRIL 2014
ACHPR SESSION: 28TH APRIL – 12TH MAY 2014
 LUANDA, REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS

A. General

The 55th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) will be held at Talatona Convention Centre, Luanda, Angola, from 28th April to 12th May 2014.

B. Credentials

State delegates and other participants are kindly requested to bring their official credentials, duly signed by the appropriate authorities in their countries or their respective organizations, and hand them to the Commission’s Secretariat prior to registration.

C. Pre-Registration Forms

All participants are required to submit their 55th Session Pre-Registration Form by the deadline indicated therein, for inclusion on the provisional list of participants which would be transmitted to the Host authorities.  This is critical with regards to the acquisition of visas.

D. Registration and identification badges

Upon arrival at the Session venue, participants are required to register and obtain identification badges in the main lobby area outside the Conference Hall, to enable them to participate in the Session.
All participants are requested to wear their badges at all times during the Session, for identification and security reasons.

E. Immigration requirements

All participants are required to travel to Luanda by air.  Participants are required to get their entry visas from Diplomatic/Consular Missions of the Republic of Angola in their respective countries of residence.  In this regard, participants are advised to confirm the existence and the location of these Missions with the Ministry of Foreign/External Affairs of their countries of residence.

For participants who do not have Angolan diplomatic representations in their countries of residence, arrangements have been made for visas to be issued on arrival at the Luanda International Airport, upon presentation of the following:

  1. Personalized letter of Invitation to the Session, duly signed by the Secretary to the Commission;
  2. Two (2) Passport-size photographs;
  3. Identification Travel document (Passport).

Visa fees may apply.

F. Health requirement

Participants must ensure that they have taken the necessary vaccinations and that they travel with their Vaccination Cards, as these are required before admission to the country.

Participants are also kindly advised to obtain international health insurance to cover emergencies, in case they are taken ill during the period of the Session.

G. Weather

Participants are advised to travel with appropriate clothing, as the temperature is expected to be between 170C and 200C.

H. Banks and foreign exchange

Most of the major convertible currencies and Travellers’ Cheques can be exchanged in Angola.

The local currency is the Kwanza.

The exchange rates as at 20 February 2014 were as follows:
 

$USD:
100 Kwanzas to $1

£GBP:
162.9 Kwanzas to 1£ 

€EURO:
134 Kwanzas to 1

CANADIAN DOLLAR:
88.7 Kwanzas to 1CAD



Please note that, as usual, exchange rates fluctuate, and that they may vary in banks and exchange bureaus.

International Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are available in Angola; they accept most of the major ATM cards, and they are open 24 hours.

Money can be changed at the airport and banks.

Banking facilities will be available at the venue of the Conference to enable participants do their exchanges.

Please note that you will be required to present your Passport/Identity documents, during exchange operations.

I. Travel Agents and Airlines

The following are the main travel agents and airlines operating to and from Angola:

Name Address Tel/Fax E-mail Website
TAAG – Linhas Aéreas de Angola  Rua da Missão, 123
P. O. Box 79, Luanda
Tel.: +(244) 22233 2077 /
2233 2387 /
9231 90000 /
9231 90010
TAAGSAC@flytaag-angolaairlines.com www.taag.com
TAP Air Portugal 2af a 6af das
Morada: Avenida 4 de Fevereire, 79/80 – C.P. 118, Luanda
+(244) 222 63 2000
+(244) 222 63 2099
   
Iberia / British Airways Morada : Casa Desportistas
Rua Murtala Mohammed R/C no. 1
Ilha de Lauanda / Terminal de Voos International, Aeroporto Internacional ‘4 de Fevereire’, Avenida 21 de Janeiro
+(244) 222 309890/1, 309251, 309270, 309562, 91 476 6912   www.iberia.com
Emirates Terminal de Voos Internacional
Aeroporto Internacional ‘4 de Fevereiro’
Avenida 21, de Janeiro, Luanda
+244 91 476 6912
Reservations : +244 22 200 7306
   
KLM 2af a 6af das
Avenida 4 de Fevereiro no. 23
C.P. Box 396, Luanda
+244 222 395 335; 222 339822    
Brussels Airline 2af a 6af das +244 2 311 447
+32 (0)2 723 2362
   
SonAir Aeroporto 4 de Fevereiro, Luanda +244 226 633 563/67;
+244 222 320670
  www.sonairsarl.com
Lufthansa Angola Commandante Kwenha 272, Luanda +244 222 330 024; 244 222 330 074   www.lufthansa.com
South African Airways Bairro Maculusso,
Travessa Rodrigo De Miranda No. 33,
R/C, Luanda
+244 222 015 779 ;
+244 222 015 780 ;
+244 222 320 544 ;
Fax : +244 320 644
   
Ethiopian Airways Largo 4 De Fevereiro Hotel Meridian, Ethiopian Airlines P.O. Box 1044 +244 2 310615; 310328 / 914 526 675;

Fax: +244 2 310328

  Iadam@ethiopianairlines.com; dawitt@ethiopianairlines.com

 

 

 

 
 

 

J.         Vehicle Hire

The website shows the following car hire companies:

  1. Penguine Car Hire

Rua Tenente Valadim 11, 1st Fl , Luanda, Angola
E-mail: justin@penguincarhire.com
                       mike@penguincarhire.com

  1. Car Hire Angola

E-mail : info@carhireangola.org

K.        Transport:

Arrangements have also been made for pick-up from Airport to hotel for participants who provide timely information on their arrival dates. 

Arrangements have also been made to provide transport to and from the Session venue to those participants who stay in the recommended hotels (see list of hotels below).

For enquiries regarding transport matters, participants may contact the following:

Mr. Adriano Gaspar
Tel: +244 – 9233 00575
E-mail: argaspar11@hotmail.com

L.         Lunch

Arrangements have been made for participants to buy their lunch at the Session venue.

M.        Courier Services

The Secretariat was able to identify the following courier services in Angola:

  1. DHL World Express
  2. Transglobal Express   E-mail: sales@transglobalexpress.co.uk

N.        Mobile-phone Sim Card Providers

The Secretariat identified the following Sim Card providers:

  i)        Unitel SA      
  ii)       Movicel Telecomunicações, S.A.
                       

O.        Electricity

The voltage in Angola is 220V  –  240V  AC, accessible with two pins normal plug. Primary Socket Type: Europlug, Schuko.

P. Circulation/Distribution of Documents/Materials

Kindly note that no document will be circulated without the written authorization of the Secretary to the Commission.

Participants are therefore advised to seek written authorization from the Executive Secretary for the distribution of their documents at the conference area.

Q. Protocol Matters

For protocol and related matters, participants may contact:

  1. Mr. Júlio de Carvalho

Tel: +244 – 9258 96609
E-mail: professorju@hotmail.com

  1. Mr. Reginald Mere

E-mail : reginaldmere@yahoo.co.uk

R. Hotel accommodation / Reservations

The list of some hotels located near the Session venue are indicated here-below (please kindly note that room rates include breakfast):

S/NO NAME DESCRIPTION COST
US$
ADDRESS/CONTACT
1. Hotel Talatona 5*

  • 201 rooms;
  • 12 meeting rooms;
  • Wifi everywhere;
  • Restaurants & Bars;
  • Business centre;
  • Gym, Saloon, Swimming pool;
  • Shops, etc.

2 minutes walk from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Presidential suite: 5,000
Double: 655
Single : 578

Negotiated rate: 300

Ana Pinto
Luanda Talatona CCB4 GU02
Rua Luanda Sul, Angola
Tel.: +244 93401 0310
+244 226 424 300
Fax :+244 226 424 301
E-mail: reservas@hoteltalatona.com
info@hoteltalatona.com

Website : www.hoteltalatona.com

2. Hotel Royal Plaza 3*

  • 39 rooms;
  • Wifi in public areas only
  • Restaurant & Bar;
  • Conference room;
  • Gym, Swimming pool.

1.5 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Single: 230

Negotiated rate:
200

Via A4 – Lote GTO, Talatona
Luanda, Angola

Tel: +244 9324 70992
+244 927 735 683

E-mail: reservas@royalplazatalatona.com

Website: www.royalplazatalatona.com

3. Hotel Sunshine 3*

  • 46 rooms ;
  • Wifi everywhere ;
  • Restaurant ;
  • Conference room (70 ppl);
  • Gym

2 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Double/Single: 250

Negotiated rate:
150

Rua Lar do Patriota s/no, Zona 3,
Talatona-Benfica, Municipio de Belas, Luanda, Angola

Tel.: +244 9276 3535
+244 9227 14279
+244 9241 78557
+244 922 714269
+244 9170 21791
E-mail: Sunshine.hotel.belas@gmail.com
sunshinehotel2012@gmail.com
sunshine3starhotel@gmail.com

Website: www.sunshineangola.com

4. Rosa Valls Hotel 3*

  • 41 rooms;
  • Wifi in public areas only, net cable in the rooms;
  • Restaurant;
  • Conference room (60 ppl);
  • Gym, Swimming pool;

2.5 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Single: 220
Double: 275
Morro-Bento
Avenida Pedro de Castro
Van-dúnen-Loy
Talatona/Samba

Tel: +244 2220 14642 / 3

E-mail: Rosavallshotel@gmail.com

5. Hotel Agatha 3*

  • 135 rooms;
  • Wifi in public areas only;
  • Conference hall;
  • Restaurant;
  • Small gym, Swimming pool.

3 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Double: 185
Single:   125

Negotiated rate:
100

Avenida 21 de Janeiro,
Morro Bento II, Luanda, Angola
Tel. : +244 22237 0302
+244 22237 0382
+244 917 011 245 /
943 757 186

E-mail : Contacto@agathahotel.com
hotelagatha@hotmail.com
Website : www.agathahotel.com

6. Hotel D&D 2*

  • 24 rooms;
  • Restaurant.

3 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Double: 160
Single: 130

Negotiated rate: 100

Benfica

+244 222 311 554

E-mail : dedhotel@gmail.com

7. Hotel Pôr do Sol 2*

  • 70 rooms;
  • Wifi in public areas only;
  • Restaurant;
  • Conference hall.

6 Kilometres from the Session venue

Normal rate:
Double: 180
Single: 150

Negotiated rate:
100

Benfica

Director
Tel.: +244 9233 85458
923411150

For bookings, please kindly contact the hotels listed above directly. 

While making their bookings, participants would need to indicate that they are participating at the Commission’s Session in order to benefit from the negotiated rate.

Participants who require further assistance regarding hotel reservations may contact:

Mr. Afonso Vita (Accommodation Committee)
Director National Da Hotelabia
Tel: +(244) 923 918 216
E-mail: Afonsovita@gmail.com

For any queries or additional information, participants may also contact the Secretariat on the following address:

31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District, Western Region,
            P. O. Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia
            Tel: (220) 4410505 / 4410506; Fax: (220) 4410504

E-mails: i)      au-banjul@africa-union.org;
                          ii)     africancommission@yahoo.com

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