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CCR Appeals to UN on Behalf of South African Shack Dwellers Movement

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Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

December 1, 2010, New York - Today, CCR sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders to ask her to investigate the case of the shack dwellers human rights movement in South Africa, Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM). Yesterday marked the beginning of a criminal trial against 12 members of AbM who are charged in relation to violent attacks at the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement in Durban on the night of September 26, 2009 despite the ongoing failure of the government to conduct an impartial investigation into the events that led to the destruction of AbM’s office that night or ongoing arrests, threats of arrests, arbitrary detention, charges and pending prosecution of AbM members and leaders. Abahlali baseMjondolo is a mass grassroots movement fighting for better living conditions for South Africa’s poor and working to hold the government of South Africa to its promise and its constitution. This is a case the world should watch. To read the entire letter to Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya, see the PDF below.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.