54/91, 61/91, 98/93, 164/97 to 196/97, 210/98 Malawi African Association, Amnesty International, Ms Sarr Diop, Union Interafricaine des Droits de l’Homme and RADDHO, Collectif des Veuves et Ayants Droit, Association Mauritanienne des Droits de l’Homme / Mauritania

This communications were filed before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights(ACmHPR) by Malawi African Association, Amnesty International, Ms Sarr Diop, Union Interafricaine des Droits de l’Homme and RADDHO, Collectif des Veuves et Ayants Droit, Association Mauritanienne des Droits de l’Homme / Mauritania due to the serious and massive human rights violations against the Black Mauritanian citizens.

Issues

– Whether payment of compensation to victims of human rights violations invalidates the deliberations of ACmHPR

– Instances where the ACmHPR can consider violations that occurred prior to the entry into force of the ACHPR

– Exemption from rule on exhaustion of local remedies: in instances where such remedies are non-existent de jure;in instances where the justification for the rule, i.e. respondent is informed of accusation before international legal action, is evident; in instances where it is “neither practicable nor desirable” to require complainants to exhaust these

– customary principle of pacta sunt servanda and non derogability of rights guaranteed under ACHPR

Alleged Violations

  Article 2 Right to Freedom from Discrimination

Article 3 Right to Equality before the Law and Equal Protection of the Law

Article 4 Right to Life

Article 5 Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

Article 6 Right to Personal Liberty and Protection from Arbitrary Arrest

Article 7 Right to Fair Trial

Artilce 9 Right to Receive Information and Free Expression

Article 10 Right to Freedom of Association

 Article 11 Right to Freedom of Assembly

Article 12 Right to Freedom of Movement

Article 14- Right to Property

Article 15 – Right to Work

Article 16 Right to Health

Article 18  Protection of the Family and Vulnerable Groups

Article 19  Right of All Peoples to Equality and Rights

Article 26 Duty to Guarantee Independence of Courts

Status of the Communication

The ACmHPR held that the respondent state violated articles 2, 4, 5, 6, 7(1)(a-d), 9(2), 10(1), 11, 12(1), 14, 16(1), 18(1) and 26. The ACmHPR held that the compensiation of victims does not invalidate its delibrations. The ACmHPR does not consider violations that occurred before the African Charter came into force.The government was sufficently informed of the situation but the enactment of the “amnesty law” rendered the internal remedies ineffective and the African Charter has no provision that warrants the derogation from charter obligations during emergency situations. This communication was decided on merits in Algiers, Algeria, (11 May 2000).




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