Djibouti: ANHRI Demands the Left of the Censorship Imposed on the Websites of the Opposition

Cairo February 19, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the governmental censorship imposed on the opposition websites, especially, as the the date of the parliamentary elections is will be in February 22, 2013. ANHRI also denounces harassing the opposition leaders by the regime, particularly as the arrest of the leader “Taher Ahmed Farh”, then sentencing him and after that temporarily released him.

The government seek through “Union for a Presidential Majority party”, the ruling coalition, in order to block the connection of the opposition forces with the people through censoring some its websites. Such websites are the main tool that the opposition use to connect with people and supporters in addition to they didn’t provide any guarantees to stop censoring their websites.

Several political forces suffering from the difficulty to access to their websites inside Djibouti. “union for the national salvation” which is led by “Taher Ahmed Farh” can’t be accessed unless via the website of “reporters without borders”, “the republican coalition for development” and “the Forbes”, a news website.

The Djibouti authorities harassed the leaders of the opposition, arrest and abuse them. The authorities arrested “Farh” on charges of insulting and false allegations against military officer on September 2004. The court fined him of 8.5 million frank (47 USD) but Farh flee to Belgium and he didn’t implement it to this ruling. After he came back to Djibouti on January 13, 2013, the authorities arrested him in February 6, 2013 then temporarily released him until full paying the said fine.

ANHRI said that “harassment which is conducted by the authorities against the opposition and its leaders is a serious violation to the freedom of expression. It is also a clear evidence that the violations committed by the authorities against the people. The authorities fear that the opposition due to such violations, as the opposition seeks to make reforms in the country”.

ANHRI added that “censoring the websites by the authorities is a serious violation to the treaties, that ratifying the African charter for human rights, which stipulates in article no. 2 of chapter I on human and people’s rights, from the first part related to recognized rights and duties that everyone should enjoy. Such rights and duties are guaranteed in this treaty regardless discrimination, especially if it was built upon race, color, sex, language, religion or political opinions … etc. It is also stipulated in  9/2 the every and each one enjoys the right to express his opinion and publish it in the frame of the laws and regulations. The opposition decision to participate in the elections, is the least expression for their opinions, which make the government practices is a free from any legitimacy.

ANHRI calls for lifting the censorship of the websites of the opposition and provide them with the guarantees related to that. ANHRI demands the drop of all the charges pressed on the leader Taher Ahmed Farh.

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