Communication 445/13- Human Rights Council and Others v. Ethiopia Rapporteur: Summary of the Complaint 1. The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) received this complaint at its Secretariat (the Secretariat) on 13 April 2013. It is submitted by Human Rights Council (HRCO, the first Complainant), a NonGovernmental Organisation registered in the Federal Democratic of Ethiopia. HRCO is supported by International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS), which subsequently withdrew from the matter; East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project; CIVICUS; International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH); and Word Organisation Against Torture (the Co-complainants). 2. The Complaint is submitted against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (the Respondent State), a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter).1 3. The Complainants state that in January 2009, the Respondent State adopted the Charities and Societies Proclamation No. 621/2009 (“the CSO Proclamation”). The CSO Proclamation came into force on 13 February 2009 (the effective date). The law was promulgated to aid and facilitate the role of Charities and Societies in the overall development of Ethiopian peoples. Among others, the CSO Proclamation establishes the Charities and Societies Agency (the CSO Agency), and a Board. Upon coming into force it required all existing human rights organisations to re-register with the CSO Agency within one year from the effective date. 4. Further to the CSO Proclamation, the Respondent State issued several directives and regulations to facilitate the implementation of the CSO Proclamation. Among them is the Council of Ministers Regulation for the Registration and Administration of Charities and Societies (the Council of Ministers Regulations). Article 10(2) of the Council of Minister Regulations provides that “the effects of re-registration shall commence only one year after the effective date of the CSO Proclamation and not immediately after registration.” 1 Ethiopia ratified the African Charter on 15 June 1999 1|Page

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