Africa Politics

President of Comoros hails African Court

Accra, Sept. 17, GNA – Mr Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros, has hailed the work of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right for championing and defending the human rights of Africans especially the underprivileged against abuse by the rich and powerful.
He said the constitution and law of Comoros prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention and provides for the right of any person to challenge the lawfulness of arrest or detention in court, and the government generally observed these provisions.
He said in Comoros the law requires judicial arrest warrants as well as prosecutorial approval to detain persons longer than 24 hours without charge.
President Assoumani, speaking during a working visit to the Comoros by African Court officials, said the law provides for the prompt judicial determination of the legality of detention and for detainees to be informed promptly of the charges against them.
A magistrate informs detainees of their rights, including the right to legal representation. These rights were inconsistently respected. The bail system prohibits those for whom bail is posted from leaving.
The African Court officials lead by its President, Justice Sylvain Oré, and which included Judge Justice Tujilane Rose Chizumila and other senior Registry officials were in the Comoros as part of the broader objectives to sensitizing countries who have not made a declaration which will allow its citizens to file cases at the African Court.
President Assoumani said the Comoros has just established a human rights commission to ensure that all internal mechanisms are in place on exhaustion of local remedies.
Justice Ore urged the President of Comoros to make the Declaration under Article 34(6). Comoros ratified the Protocol on establishment of the Court in December 2013 but is yet to make the Declaration.
He noted that the sensitisation visits have helped the African Court to raise awareness of the Continental Court’s existence.
Justice Ore said for the African Court to discharge its mandate effectively and further strengthen the African continent’s human rights system, a greater number of countries must ratify the Protocol and make the Declaration under Article 34(6).
Since the adoption of the Protocol in June 1998, thirty out of 55 AU Member States have ratified it, but only nine State Parties to the Protocol have made the Declaration under Article 34(6).
These are; Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Malawi, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
The African Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission, with a view to enhancing the protection of human rights on the continent.
As at July 2019, the African Court had received 220 applications of which 62 have been finalised. The Continental Court is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union elected in their individual capacity.

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