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Human rights activist released in Djibouti but concerns over charges remain

Thursday 24 February 2011 | News | Comments: 0

The human rights organisation Amnesty International reports:

Jean-Paul Noel Abdi, the president of the Djiboutian League of Human Rights (la Ligue djiboutienne des droits humains, LDDH), was granted provisional liberty on 21 February 2011 on health grounds. He remains charged with participation in an insurrectional movement after he investigated and reported on arrests following recent student protests in the Republic of Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.

Jean-Paul Noel has been detained in Gabode Prison since 9 February. Lawyers acting on his behalf submitted a request for his release to the judge presiding over the case on 19 February. They reported that his health was deteriorating rapidly because of problems with his heart and his diabetes.

Jean-Paul Noel Abdi was charged with participation in an insurrectional movement (“participation a un mouvement insurrectionel”) under articles 145 and 146.4 of the Penal Code. On 5 and 6 February, Jean-Paul Noёl Abdi recorded and shared information about alleged arbitrary arrests following student protests in Djibouti City. He had also tried to visit the students in detention.

Students protested on 5 February, against a low pass rate this year and the quality of the education system. Local sources believe that the protests have become increasingly political. The international media has reported civil unrest and low-level violence, including rock throwing and looting.

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