Arrest of Human Rights Activist Jean Paul Noel Abdi

14th February 2011

Djibouti: Free Human Rights Activist Jean Paul Noel Abdi

Kampala – The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net) calls on the Djibouti authorities to release Jean-Paul Noel Abdi, the President of the Djiboutian League of Human Rights, focal point organization of East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, who was arrested on February 09, 2011. The arrest violates his right to free expression, and comes just months before the country holds its presidential elections in April 2011.

Information received from the Network indicates that Jean-Paul was arrested by the national police, charged with participation in an insurrectional movement under article 145 and 146.4 of the Penal Code. The penalty for this is 15 years in prison and a fine of seven million Djiboutian francs. The arrest is in connection to his investigations and reporting on the arrest and detention of students protesting. The student protest that took place in Djibouti city four days before his arrest was in response to a low pass rate this year and the quality of the education system. Currently only his sister and lawyer have been allowed to see him. Click here to read the full release.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.