The Eritrean Journalists’ Case Before the African Commission
Simon M. Weldehaimanot
affiliation not provided to SSRN
August 1, 2009
Eritrean Law Society Occasional Papers (ELSOP), No. 1, August 2009
With brief introduction to the individual complaints mechanism before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter), this article provides commentary on Article 19 v. Eritrea – the case of Eritrean journalists before the Commission. The author has accessed written submissions of both parties and finds gross misrepresentation of facts and misinterpretation of Eritrean laws by the Government of Eritrea (GoE) in addition to its substantively weak arguments on admissibility and merits of the case. Being an example of res ipsa loquitur, the case hardly required strong argumentation from the complainant yet the latter should have done better. Although inherent weaknesses with the Commission and particularly undue deference the Commission shows to States has delayed the case for four years, the Commission eventually admitted the case, found violation of numerous rights and urged the GoE to release or to bring to a speedy and fair trial the journalists detained since September 2001 and to grant immediate access to their families and legal representatives, to lift the ban on the press and to take appropriate measures to ensure payment of compensation to the detainees.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Date posted: January 19, 2010