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.
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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.
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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.
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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: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.