The African Commission must act to curtail rapidly escalating human rights crises in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Gambia, Amnesty International said today at the start of the 59th Ordinary Session of the African Commission.
“The crackdown on protestors which has claimed hundreds of lives in Ethiopia is a live example of how failure to effectively address a sustained and consistent pattern of human rights violations can degenerate into a crisis,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director for Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International.
Amnesty International is calling on the African Commission to make full use of its mandate, including its duty to bring the existence of ‘a series of serious or massive violations of human rights’ to the attention of the AU Assembly and develop effective follow-up mechanisms to ensure the implementation of its recommendations by member states.
“Eritrea and Gambia stand out as two extremely repressive countries on the continent not only with alarming human rights records, but also with a general disposition to wilfully ignore the decisions and resolutions of the African Commission,” said Netsanet Belay.
“We urge the African Commission to refer these two countries to the AU Executive Council for their persistent failure to comply with their recommendations.”
The 59th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights is scheduled to take place from 21 October to 4 November 2016 in Banjul, Gambia.
The session will take place alongside the 43rd ordinary session of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 28th ordinary session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.