13 January 2013

Djibouti: The Security Forces Fire Live Bullets On a Peaceful Demonstration - Killing a Demonstrator and Wounding Others

press release

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), strongly, denounces killing a peaceful demonstrator in the city of "Obock" on the background of using the live bullets, by the security forces, to disperse the peaceful demonstration of latest December 2012.

Djibouti Security Forces fired live bullets on number of young demonstrators of primary and middle-school students who demonstrated peacefully on December 30, 2012. They peacefully demonstrated on the lack of the infrastructure in the residential areas they live in, especially, related to sport clubs foundations and other sports' infrastructure, during the meeting organized by the Sports Secretary of State. The use of the live bullets resulted in killing of a demonstrator, 14 year old, and wounding many others.

ANHRI said "the use of the security forces to the excessive violence to disperse a peaceful demonstration to a number of students, is a serious violation to the freedom of expression and a clear violation to the international charters related to the rights of the child".

ANHRI said that "the Djibouti policemen in adopting such way is a clear violation to the constitution issued on 1992, which states in Article no. 10 on "the person is infallible and the state shall guarantee his safety and freedom, and all humans are equal before the law". In the same article, the constitution stated that "everyone enjoys the right to live, freedom, security and his personal safety". In addition to Article no. 15 provides that everyone enjoys the right to free expression by word, pen and picture. The security forces have clearly violated the provisions of the Djibouti constitution.

ANHRI asserted also on that the security forces have violated the articles of The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, as Article no. 12 of it, states that the country shall guarantee the right of the child to express his opinion freely in all his matters and the child has to the right to be heard in the matters related to him.

In addition Article no. 13 of the said declaration provided the right of the child to select the appropriate way to express his opinions.

ANHRI highlighted that the demonstration of the primary and middle schools students were freed from all the restrictions on this right , in accordance with the said declaration, as the students didn't violate the others' right or reputation and they didn't, jointly or severally, prejudice the public security, public order, public health or the public ethics.

ANHRI calls on the conducting an immediate investigation related to the assault on the students and held the police elements who were involved in killing and wounding into accountable and bring them before the court.

ANHRI calls the relevant bodies in Djibouti to include the state's respect to The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child in the constitution and reform the constitution in respect of the freedom of the child and its basic rights.

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