The director of the Forum of Conscience (FOC), John Caulker, has announced that the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights based in Ghana will start hearing the case of the late Harry Yansaneh.
Harry Yansaneh, former deputy editor of “For di People” newspaper was alleged to have been manhandled by Fatmata Hassan, a Member of Parliament and also the ECOWAS parliament, and her children which led to his death.
He made this announcement during their 2006 annual report on the observatory for the protection of human rights defenders.
John Caulker said, “this commission is the Human Rights wing of the African Union (AU) and the decisions of such a court would definitely be binding on Sierra Leone because Sierra Leone is a signatory to the AU Charter”.
Speaking on the annual report, Mr Caulker said in 2006 human rights defenders in Sub-Saharan Africa continued to carry out their activities in a highly hostile and dangerous environment.
He said the report condemned Ethiopia and Nigeria for the restrictive legislation, hampering the exercise of freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly, while a growing number of defenders faced judicial proceedings, arbitrary arrests and detentions.
The FOC director said, “the annual report with regards Sierra Leone is silent because no report was sent. But it does not mean human rights defenders are not facing problems”.
He however stated that in 2007, “it is hoped that human rights defenders who will be monitoring the July 28 elections in Sierra Leone will be able to carry out their activities freely and safely.”