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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid