The 53rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) was held at Banjul (The Gambia) from 9 to 22 April 2013. FIACAT and ACAT Niger took part in this session to voice their concerns over the human rights situation in Africa.
Human Rights Situation in Africa
At this session FIACAT was able to voice its concerns over the situation in the Central African Republic. Since Séléka forces captured Bangui on 24 March 2013, ACAT CAR members have witnessed many instances of pillaging and violence.
FIACAT also said it was deeply concerned about the restriction in the Republic of Niger of the right to protest. ACAT Niger’s representative called on the authorities of his country to respect the right to protest, which is recognised in the Constitution of the 7th Republic of Niger.
Prison regulation control
FIACAT also pledged to work alongside the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on drawing up Guideline on the Conditions of Police Custody and Pre-trial Detention in Africa. Such Guidelines will provide very useful support-up to ACAT groups as they campaign for a limit on police custody and pre-trial detention periods.
The death penalty in Africa
FIACAT met with the Working Group on the Death Penalty and Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings in Africa along with other members of the World Coalition against the Death Penalty. This meeting helped to strengthen ties between the Working Group and its partner organisation in civil society to advance the abolitionist cause in Africa.
Building up the skills of the ACAT network
The President of ACAT Niger, Moumouni ALFARI took part in this Commission session and in the NGO Forum which preceded the session. Here he was able to establish links with members of the African Commission and other human rights NGOs. ACAT Niger is now in a stronger position to pursue its campaign for the abolition of torture and of the death penalty in Niger.