ACHPR | Guarantee the effective participation of civil society during the 64th ordinary session in Egypt


We should all be able to contribute to upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms without fear of reprisal. In light of the current human rights situation in Egypt, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) should guarantee the safety, security and effective participation of civil society actors during its upcoming 64th­ ordinary session in Cairo.

Notwithstanding a joint letter by ISHR and 64 NGOs calling for the ACHPR to reject Egypt’s bid to host its 64thordinary session commencing in April 2019, the Commission has officially confirmed that the session will be held in Cairo. 

The decision starkly contradicts the quasi-judicial body’s mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights, given the current human rights situation in Egypt where a zero-tolerance approach to dissent has led to the most widespread and brutal crackdown on human rights committed by the Egyptian government in its modern history. 

In Egypt, repressive legislation is used to criminalise the work of NGOs, hampering their ability to function freely and independently. Non-State actors apply threats of violence to silence critics and dissidents. And human rights activists face travel bans, asset freezes, enforced disappearance, prolonged detention and torture for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.  

‘This calls into question the freedom of Egyptian and non-Egyptian civil society to participate effectively in the forthcoming ACHPR sessions without fear of reprisals’, said Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Advocacy Consultant at ISHR. 

In order to address civil society concerns, the Commission should publicly guarantee the protection and effective participation of international and national human rights defenders and civil society organisations in the sessions. 

‘The Commission should not neglect its key responsibility to uphold respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Egypt. It should reinforce its engagement with the Egyptian national authorities to assure civil society actors that they can carry out their human rights responsibilities free from reprisals’, Etong Kame added.

For more information on the human rights situation in Egypt, read the full letter here.

Contact: Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Advocacy Consultant,

                                                                                                                                                                Photo: Flickr, Maina Kiai


  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Freedom of expression, association and assembly
  • Human rights defenders
  • Reprisals and intimidation
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
  • Egypt