News / Africa

    African Rights Court to Hear Case of Murdered Burkinabe Journalist

    FILE - Demonstrators hold a poster with a portrait of late journalist Norbert Zongo during a protest in Ouagadougo.FILE - Demonstrators hold a poster with a portrait of late journalist Norbert Zongo during a protest in Ouagadougo.
    x
    FILE - Demonstrators hold a poster with a portrait of late journalist Norbert Zongo during a protest in Ouagadougo.
    FILE - Demonstrators hold a poster with a portrait of late journalist Norbert Zongo during a protest in Ouagadougo.
    Peter Clottey
    This week, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will hold a public hearing of a case in which a family accuses Burkina Faso of refusing to investigate the killing of an investigative journalist.

    Until his death in 1998, Norbert Zongo was the publisher and editor of the weekly newspaper, the l’Independent.  His family contends that the government may be “involved in the killing, or the government [did] nothing after the killing to investigate and identify the real killer,” said court spokesman Jean-Pierre Uwanone Ntawizeruwanone.

    According to court rules, judges have 90 days after the end of the hearing to deliver a decision. The court could have Burkina Faso open an investigation, or order some form of redress to Zongo’s relatives. Its rulings are final and binding.

    The court was created to hear violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

    Over two dozen countries have signed the protocol establishing the court.  But only a handful, including Burkina Faso, has signed a special agreement recognizing its right to hear complaints from their citizens.

    “Among the 26 countries, we have only seven that have made a declaration accepting that the court can receive cases from individuals [or] from citizens directly,” said Ntawizeruwanone. “It’s a political matter, and we have to discuss it and we have to tell the truth. We still need some political will from countries that accept that competence of the court.”

    Since the protocol establishing it came into force nearly 10 years ago, the court has been asked to hear 29 cases but rejected a majority of them, according to Ntawizeruwanone.

    “Twenty of those cases were disposed of,” he said, “because the court [did] not have jurisprudence.  They were brought by individuals from countries which have not made a declaration accepting the competence of the court.”
                         
    Critics say the court has achieved very little since its inception. Supporters however say the court has been hampered by a lack of political support from a majority of the 54 African countries.

    Ntawizeruwanone says the court has launched educational campaigns around the continent to drum up support.

    “The court has undertaken some sensitization campaign to call [on] people [to learn] about the court [and] to ratify the protocol that established the court,” said Ntawizeruwanone. “During the sensitization campaign we also asked countries to make a declaration allowing their citizens to have direct access to the court.”

    The court, Ntawizeruwanone said, has recently concluded a seminar in Arusha, Tanzania that attracted judges from all over Africa.

    “They discussed ways and means of having a dialogue so nations can cooperate with the court in promoting [it] and explaining the competence of the court,” said Ntawizeruwanone,

    He said the court has organized training seminars for African journalists. 

    “They discussed how the media can help the court to sensitize the public and how the media professionals can help the court to attract more countries to make [ratify the court’s protocol],” said Ntawizeruwanone.
    Clottey interview with Jean-Pierre Uwanone Ntawizeruwanone
    Clottey interview with Jean-Pierre Uwanone Ntawizeruwanonei
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.