1 ORAL INTERVENTION - THE OBSERVATORY AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES' RIGHTS 56th ordinary session Banjul, The Gambia April 21 - May 7, 2015 Contribution of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) In the framework of their joint programme, The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Madam President, Madam the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, Madam and Sir Commissioners, Madam and Sir Delegates, FIDH and OMCT, in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, once again express their grave concern about the situation of human rights defenders in Africa. Arbitrary arrests, detentions and judicial harassment of human rights defenders are still used as means to persecute and silence human rights defenders throughout the African continent. In Algeria, with already ten of their colleagues in detention, labour rights activists Abdelhamid Brahimi, Ferhat Missa and Youssef Sultani are judicially harassed for criticising the police on Facebook and for their participation to peaceful demonstrations in El Oued. Their trial is ongoing. In Burundi, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, was re-arrested on April 27, 2015 for publicly speaking against a third mandate of President Pierre Nkurunziza. In Cameroon, Franklin Mohwa, president of Frontline Fighters for Citizens Interests (FFCI) is arbitrarily detained and prosecuted, so is Célestin Yandal, president of the Touboro Youth Collective. In the DRC, the trial of detained human rights defender Christopher Ngoyi Mutamba, National Chairman of the NGO “Synergie Congo culture et développement” and Coordinator of the platform Civil Society of Congo, opened on March 4, without any prior notice to the defendant who is facing a heavy prison sentence. In Egypt, many human rights defenders, including Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif and Alaa Abdel Fattah are still arbitrarily detained for exercising their legitimate right to peaceful assembly. While they are not currently detained, human rights lawyers, Mahienour El-Massry, Amr Abu-Elkhair and Azza Soliman; are still facing judicial harassment. In Sudan, Adil Bakheit, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM), was arrested on April 16, 2015.