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Djibouti: Further information: Activist released but charges remain: Jean-Paul Noel Abdi

, Index number: AFR 23/002/2011

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.

Further information on UA: 28/11 Index: AFR 23/002/2011 Djibouti Date: 23 February 2011
URGENT ACTION
ACTIVIST RELEASED BUT CHARGES REMAIN
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.
Presidential elections are scheduled for April 2011. Opposition parties refused to take part in the 2005 and 2008
elections because their demands for changes in the electoral process were not met.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in French, English or your own language:
welcoming the provisional release of human rights defender, Jean-Paul Noёl Abdi, on health grounds.
expressing grave concern that Jean-Paul Noёl Abdi is still charged with participation in an insurrectional
movement, apparently for investigating and reporting on arbitrary arrests following the recent student protests;
calling on the authorities to ensure that all Djiboutian human rights defenders can work freely and independently
and with the full protection of the state.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 APRIL 2011 TO:
President of the Republic
Ismail Omar Guelleh
Palais Présidentiel
BP 6
Djibouti Ville
République de Djibouti
Fax: 00 253 35 50 49
Salutation: Your Excellency / Dear
President
Minister of Justice
Mohamed Barkat Abdillahi
Ministre de la Justice,
BP 12
Djibouti Ville
République de Djibouti
Fax: 00 253 35 54 20
Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Public Prosecutor
Maki Omar Abdoulkader
Fax: 00 253 35 69 90
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date. This is the first update of UA 28/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR23/001/2011/en
Field Code Changed
Date: 23 February 2011
URGENT ACTION
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ARRESTED IN DJIBOUTI
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The political space in Djibouti is dominated by the People’s Rally for Progress (RFP) headed by President Ismail Omar Guelleh,
who won a second term in 2005. In 2010, the Djiboutian parliament voted in favour of amending the constitution to allow the
President to run for a third term.
FU UA: 28/11 Index: AFR 23/002/2011 Issue Date: 23 February 2011

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