rights

​NGO Not Concerned About de Klerk Charges

The FW de Klerk Foundation says it is not at all concerned with the 22 charges of apartheid crimes pressure group Anti-Racism Action Forum (ARAF) has formulated against him.

The foundation’s communications officer Megan Dick says they have taken note of the anti-racism group’s intent to lay 22 charges against apartheid-era president FW de Klerk for ‘crimes against black people’.

ARAF intend to lay the same charges against Adrian Vlok, who served as minister of law and order from 1986 to 1991.

Govts Urged to Intensify Fight Against Child Marriage

Development partners have urged the Zimbabwean government to be more aggressive in tackling child marriage, which is a serious violation of human rights.

According to Phyllis Mbanje, the country has conflicting legal provisions on the minimum age for marriage and its constitution does not expressly prohibit child marriage, and a number of laws effectively condone it.

Mbanje states that the gaps in the law, extreme poverty, poor access to education, and harmful religious beliefs and social norms fuel child marriage in Zimbabwe.

Amnesty Slams Angola Over Rights

Amnesty International says that Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos’s tightening stranglehold on freedom of expression in Angola and his government’s decades of fear and repression will cast an indelible stain on the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The organisation states that as dignitaries and foreign leaders gather in the capital Luanda to mark four decades of independence, at least 16 activists continue to languish in Angolan jails.

NGO Criticises Govt’s Approach to Disability

The South African National Council for the Blind (SACB) says approximately 7.5 percent of South Africans are disabled and visual impairment is still the most prevalent disability.

Now a report titled ‘Left in the Dark’ has been released by SECTION27, a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect human rights, details the failure to provide access quality education to blind and partially sighted learners in South Africa.

NGOs Criticise Govt Over NPRC

Civil society organisations have blasted the Zimbabwean government for its snail pace in the operationalisation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), which they say is critical for lasting peace, stability and economic development of the country.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director, Lloyd Kuvheya, says civic organisations are worried about the government’s reluctance to operationalise the critical organ two years after the adoption of the new Constitution.

Ramadhani Urges NGOs Urges to Use AfCHPR

The President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR), Justice Augustino Ramadhani, has advised South Africa to make the Declaration required under Article 34 (6), to allow non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals to access the court directly.

Justice Ramadhani made the call recently when responding to questions from participants who attended the one-day sensitisation colloquium on AfCHPR, which was organised by the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA).

Angola’s Rights Record Under Spotlight

According to Anita Powell, pressure is mounting on Angola, a Southern African Development Community member-state, over its human rights record.
 
The European Parliament recently weighed in on what activists say is a deteriorating human rights situation and is demanding the immediate release of dissidents who they say were arrested for political reasons.
 

Botswana Commended Over Asylum Seekers

A group of Botswana non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have commended the government for declaring that a group of Eritrean soccer players seeking political asylum in the country should go through the normal application process.
 
In a joint press statement, the NGOs pointed out that they are convinced that the Botswana government is committed to international, regional and national human rights standards in accordance with the country’s membership of the African Union and the United Nations.
 

SA’s ICC Stance Disappoints SALC

International Criminal Justice Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), Angela Mudukuti, says the African National Congress’ (ANC) stance on the International Criminal Court (ICC) is unfortunate.
 
Mudukuti says there have been complaints about how to reform the ICC, but adds: “We can only reform the ICC from within, withdrawing from the ICC won’t fix the problem.”
 
She expressed the SALC’s disappointment with the ANC’s response and that “the South African government and the ANC should be in ICC to fight impunity and to protect human rights.”

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