Extraordinary Rendition And Extraterritorial State Obligations In African Human Rights System
Brook Kebede Abebe
Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of Master of Laws Degree
(LL.M) in International Human Rights Law at Addis Ababa University DOWNLOAD (.pdf)
Extraordinary rendition is a coercive, clandestine and illegal capturing and transferring of individuals from one state to another by state agents, or agents acting under the sponsorship of another state. By its nature, extraordinary rendition entails multifaceted human rights violations including denial of access to competent and impartial tribunals, to fair trails, and due process of law but worryingly involves torture as a means of interrogation. Moreover, in a single extraordinary rendition act several states may be involved as organizers, facilitators, abductors and safe-keepers, almost always clandestinely. Extraordinary rendition is thus a very complex and clandestine act which makes it difficult to establish responsibility against the participant state extraterritorially. The African states‟ participation in the U.S program of extraordinary rendition and the creation of a similar approach among African states and other states have raised the question of the extraterritorial scope of the African Charter. Thus, the primary objective of this thesis is answering the question of when an African state is involved in extraordinary rendition activities and affects the lives of individuals outside its sovereign territory, how will it be responsible pursuant to the African Charter to which this African state is a party? It is true that the African Charter does not explicitly prohibit extraordinary rendition. But in order to answer the aforementioned question, the thesis analyses the African Charter and the jurisprudence of the African Commission. In addition, the paper makes analyses on the jurisprudence of international and regional human rights systems which it uses as „inspirational sources‟ for the interpretation and application of the African Charter in case of extraordinary rendition. Therefore, the thesis strongly argues that the notion of state obligation under the African Charter could be applied to extraordinary rendition which violates human rights in extraterritorial context. The paper also makes an analysis on the practice of extraordinary rendition in Africa. The role of the African Commission and the remedies available for victims of extraordinary rendition in the African human rights system are also dealt under this paper.