Accra, Ghana
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation created to ensure the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth. We push for an adherence to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles and the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CHRI was established in 1987 after several Commonwealth countries voiced their concern about a lack of focus on Human rights within the Commonwealth organization. CHRI currently has three offices; in Delhi, London and Accra. The Africa office was opened in Accra in 2001 and is at the forefront of the fight to uphold basic human freedoms in the region. We work in three main areas of human rights: Human Rights Advocacy; Access to justice and The Right to Information.

Friday 1 July 2011

African Commonwealth Human Rights Weekly Update (18/06 - 01/07/2011)

The Gambia

Wednesday 29/06: Bloggers demand to know the fate of Chief Manneh

A number of foreign bloggers including those at Gambian Affairs are demanding to know about the fate of the Chief Manneh, a Daily Observer journalist who was last seen nearly five years ago on the 6 July 2006. Manneh was picked up by plain clothes Gambian security personnel from his office.

Journalists are regularly beaten, harassed and arrested for publishing articles that are critical of President Jammeh. Earlier in June Dr Amadou Scattered Janneh, a former Minister of Information and Communication, was charged with treason for allegedly distributing anti-Jammeh materials which demanded an end to the authoritarian rule of the president.

The case of Manneh has received much international attention. Senator Richard Durbin brought it to the attention of the US Senate in July 2008 whilst Amnesty International considers Manneh to be a prisoner of conscience and have been calling for his immediate release.

An ECOWAS court in 2008 ruled that Manneh should be released and that the Gambian authorities compensate him $100,000. Over three years on Gambia has yet to comply with these demands.


Wednesday 29/06: Night curfew in Abuja after Boko Haram Attacks

Nigeria’s capital is under a curfew in the wake of attacks by the bombings carried out by the Boko Haram. The city's administration said that parks and gardens that admit children should close at six p.m. whilst night clubs, beer halls, snooker clubs and cinemas should close by 10 p.m. The city also banned parking of vehicles on roads where most government offices are located.

Boko Haram is an organisation aims to establish an Islamic government in Nigeria. In the last few weeks it has carried out a number of bombings in northern Nigeria including a deadly an attack on the national police station in Abuja.

Commenting on The Boko Haram, General Ihejirika said, "Several unpatriotic Nigerians are aiding and abetting Boko Haram. That is why they thrive. Their aim is to intimidate people into exposing them. That is why they operate the way they do". (source AllAfrica.com)


Tuesday 28/06: No Bail out yet for Swaziland

South Africa denied reports on that it had approved a $1.2 billion bailout loan for Swaziland. CHRI has long being following events in the country and sent an official statement to the Commonwealth Secretariat in May about the country’s handling of protests.

Commenting on the speculated bailout the South African Treasury said: “While the South African government is in receipt of a loan request from Swaziland, as confirmed last week, no loan has been agreed to or granted to Swaziland” (Source Reuters)  

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