On 11 November 2010, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), la Collectif des Familles des Disparus en Algerie (CFDA), and the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) delivered an oral intervention on the human rights situation in North Africa and Sudan at the 48th ordinary session of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
The intervention focused on the deteriorating situation of human rights defenders, activists and civil society as a whole in the past few months- focusing on Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia.
In Egypt, the human rights organizations condemned the continuation of the state of emergency for another two years, in addition to outlining cases of enforced disappearances of activists and violent crackdown on protestors. In Sudan, the organizations alerted to the enforced disappearance of several human rights defenders, amongst which was lawyer and prominent human rights defender Abdelrahman Al Gasim; in addition to highlighting recent violations and arbitrary arrests of journalists and political opposition. Recent developments in Libya were particularly worrying with regards to freedom of opinion and expression. Restrictive laws against media keep playing an important role in silencing dissenting voices against the government in the country. Authorities in Algeria continue to monopolize both the visual and the auditory media, and have been violent in their rejection of new independent media. Developments in Algeria included violent crackdown on protests against the state monopoly over media and with regards to victims of enforced disappearances. Finally, with regards to Tunisia, the intervention focused on the deteriorating situation of human rights defenders in the country, highlighting the various forms of harassments committed by the state to silence human rights defenders, particularly that a new amendment has passed to the Tunisian Penal Code adding further worrying limitations to the activities of civil society in the country.
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