Posts Tagged ‘Djibouti’

Attacks on HRDs and Journalists in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan

January 26, 2016

At the end of 2015, a violent series of attacks against HRDs took place in the sub-region. In Djibouti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, state authorities have repeatedly attempted to silence journalists, human rights activists, and NGOs through detentions, physical attacks, and office raids. “2015 was an extremely difficult year for HRDs across the East and Horn of Africa, who are facing increasing challenges and worsening attacks in the sub-region,” said Hassan Shire, Executive Director of DefendDefenders. “DefendDefenders reiterates its commitment to support the work of HRDs and journalists in their struggle to promote human rights and civil liberties.”

In Djibouti, civic space is heavily restricted and on 21 December 2015, during a public gathering in Bouljougo, 27 people were killed and over 150 wounded by government forces, according to the Djiboutian human rights NGO Ligue Djiboutienne des Droits Humains (LDDH). The government responded to the NGO’s advocacy on the massacre with further attacks, and later on 21 December, the organisation’s General Secretary, Said Houssein Robleh, was shot by police forces in the throat and collarbone. [This was the second attack in December on Robleh. On 10 December 2015, Robleh was seriously beaten by the Djiboutian Chief of Police.] Upon leaving the hospital, Said Hossein Robleh and Omar Ali Ewado, one of the leaders of LDDH who had come to collect him, were arrested by Djiboutian authorities. Robleh was released shortly after, however Ewado was taken by the National Gendarmerie and held incommunicado for several days. After his appearance in court on 3 January, he was transferred to Gabode Central Prison without access to his family. He is being charged with public defamation for inciting hatred and spreading false news related to the 21 December massacre and the prosecution is seeking a 12-month sentence. On Sunday 17 January 2016, he was condemned to 3 months imprisonment. Additionally, police raided the offices of LDDH on 29 December, and the organisation archives and computer equipment was confiscated.

In Ethiopia, numerous HRDs and journalists have been targeted in the wake of the Oromo protests, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 140 protestors exercising their right to freedom to assembly. Getachew Shiferaw, Editor-in-Chief of Negere Ethiopia, was arrested on 25 December 2015 and is currently being held in the notorious Maekelawi Prison. The following day he appeared in court and a judge gave police permission to hold him for an additional “28 days for interrogation”. Fikadu Mirkana, news anchor at Oromia Radio and TV, was arrested on 19 December 2015 and is still being held. It has been reported to DefendDefenders that these arrests were the result of their coverage of the protests. In addition, two field investigators working for the Human Rights Council (HRCO), a leading Ethiopian human rights NGO, were arrested and questioned by police. At least one of the investigators was researching the Oromo protests and subsequent crackdown. They have both since been released.

In South Sudan, Joseph Afendy, Editor of El Tabeer, was arrested on 30 December 2015 for writing an article critical of the SPLM a week before. He was reportedly detained at National Security Service in Juba but has not had access to a lawyer or his family. It remains unclear if he is facing any charges. South Sudan is one of the most dangerous countries in the sub-region for journalists attempting to cover the brutal civil war.


Chehem Gadito: a case of arbitrary detention in Djibouti

December 22, 2013


Djibouti is not the best covered part of the world. Therefore I forward this case of Mohamed Chehem Gadito, brought to my attention by the Djibouti Observatory for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights [ODDH in its French abbreviation]. According to the ODDH this is a glaring example of the situation of human rights in Djibouti. The young activist was arrested at a meeting of the opposition on Friday 6 December 2013 and officially released 12 December by the Chamber of flagrante delicto, the court of first instance in Djibouti. Unfortunately, he was again arrested by the police at the threshold of the Gabode prison. Placed in illegal detention he was again presented to the court on 17 December  which again ruled in favor of an immediate release. Unfortunately, Chehem Gadito was once again placed back into custody. Several members of his family who were waiting outside the Gabode prison were also arrested and forcibly shipped to Nagad, an administrative detention center intended for illegal aliens. Faced with this denial of justice, Chehem Gadito began a hunger strike. This case highlights the failure of the judiciary in its role as guardian of individual freedom and for ensuring compliance with this principle as provided by law.

Countries in the Horn of Africa, are Eritrea, ...

Countries in the Horn of Africa: Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia

via Djibouti: Chehem Mr. Gadito, a typical case of arbitrary detention | | Somali News Online from Somaliland – Somalia and Horn of Africa.

UN Rapporteur on Eritrea denied access to the country – goes to neighboring countries on 30 April

April 29, 2013


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, will carry out an official visit to Ethiopia and Djibouti from 30 April to 9 May 2013 to collect information directly from Eritrean refugees on the human rights situation in their country. As in the case of Iran, Eritrea refuses access to the UN Rapporteur. “Due to lack of access to Eritrea, I will engage with all others concerned by human rights in Eritrea, including those who consider themselves to be victims of alleged human rights violations, human rights defenders and other civil society actors,” Ms. Keetharuth said. Another case of non-cooperation with UN mechanisms that should not be rewarded.humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen Read the rest of this entry »

Recent situation of human rights defenders in Africa; overview by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

April 19, 2013

Intervening at the 53rd ordinary session of African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, on  18 April 2013, the FIDH and the OMCT, in the framework of their Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, expressed their grave concern about the situation of human rights defenders in Africa, which they stated had not observed an improvement. Violations of human rights targeting defenders have continued, notably in Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Judicial harassment based on false accusations, accompanied by arbitrary arrests and detentions, remains the most common harassment technique, especially in Algeria and Zimbabwe, but also in Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, The Gambia and Sudan. In several countries, including The Gambia and DRC, defenders have also been subjected to threats and smear campaigns. In late December 2012 / early January 2013, the presence in Goma in the Kivu region of non-State armed groups notably led to increased threats against local defenders, forcing many of them to hide or flee into exile. The targeted defenders are, inter alia, members of NGOs and lawyers in Chad, DRC, Zimbabwe, journalists in Djibouti, trade unionists fighting against impunity in Algeria, Djibouti, DRC, Zimbabwe or defending land rights and the right to a healthy environment in Cameroon; defenders of the right to work in Algeria and the right to health care in Sudan; advocates for the abolition of the death penalty in The Gambia, women’s rights in DRC, The Gambia, and free and fair elections in Zimbabwe; and activists campaigning against arbitrary detention in Egypt. Some excerpts follow but the reference to the full report is below:logo FIDH_seul


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Arrest and secret detention of Abdi Osman in Djibouti

February 25, 2013

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, joint programme of FIDH and OMCT, has been informed of the arrest and detention of human rights defender Abdi Osman, vice-president of the Ligue djiboutienne des droits humains (LDDH). On 21 February 2013 it seems that Osman has been arrested and brought to the police station. At the time of writing he seems not to be at this station anymore but his place of detention is worryingly unkown. Osman had on 20 February addressed publicly in the framework of an opposition meeting the torture and bad detention conditions of political prisoners. Action suggestions are in:OMCT-LOGO

via Djibouti: Arrestation et détention au secret de M. Abdi Osman / 22 février 2013 / Interventions urgentes / Défenseurs des droits… / OMCT.