262/02 : Mouvement ivoirien de droits de l'Homme (MIDH) / Cote d'Ivoire Summary of Facts th 1. On the 24 October 2002, the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights received from Mr Zoro Bi Ballo Epiphane, President of the Ivorian Human Rights Movement 1 (MIDH) , a communication presented on behalf of this NGO, in application of Article 55 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter). 2 2. The communication is instituted against the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (State Party to the African Charter and hereinafter referred to as Côte d’Ivoire) and the MIDH alleges that the current policy of denial of identity which has been in force for several years in Côte d’Ivoire and which some people call “Ivoirité”, has led to the passing of laws by the State which are of an unprecedented discriminatory nature in the country. 3. Alluding to the Constitution currently in force in Côte d’Ivoire and which is said to prevent a certain category of Ivorians from acceding to certain public offices including that of President of the Republic, due to their origin as well as the law on the identification of Ivorians which in reality is said to be intended to deprive some Ivorians of their nationality for political reasons, the communication alleges rd specifically that the Law No. 98-750 of 23 December 1998 establishing the regulation of rural land ownership, in its Article 26 , paragraphs 1 and 2, is in contradiction with the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Complaint rd 4. The MIDH contends that the Law No. 98-750 of the 23 December 1998 establishing the regulation of rural land ownership, in its Article 26, paragraphs 1 and 2 is in contradiction with Articles 14 and 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 5. The MIDH therefore requests the African Commission to recommend the review of the Law No. rd 98-750 of the 23 December 1998 establishing the regulation of rural land ownership in its Article 26, paragraphs 1 and 2 to Côte d’Ivoire. Procedure th 6. By letter ACHPR/COMM 262/2002 of 30 October 2002, the Secretariat of the African Commission acknowledged receipt of the communication to the MIDH specifying that this communication would be recorded in the agenda of the Commission which would consider it for rd th th seizure at its 33 Ordinary Session scheduled for the 5 to 19 May in Niamey, Niger. rd th th 7. During its 33 Ordinary Session which took place from 15 to 29 May 2003 in Niamey, Niger, the Commission examined this communication and decided to be seized of it. th 8. By Note Verbale ACHPR/COMM/262/2002 of the 11 June 2002, the Secretariat of the Commission wrote to the Respondent State informing it of the decision and requesting it to convey its arguments on the admissibility of the case to the Commission within three months. A copy of the complaint was attached to this memo. It is important to recall that the copy of this complaint was also rd handed to the delegate of the Respondent State during the 33 Ordinary Session of the Commission which had taken place in May 2003 in Niamey, Niger. 9. By letter ACHPR/COMM/262/2002 of even date, the Secretariat of the Commission informed the Complainant of the Commission’s decision and requesting it to convey to the latter its arguments on the admissibility of the case within three months. th th th 10. During its 34 Ordinary Session which was held from 6 to 19 November 2003 in Banjul, The Gambia, the delegation from the Respondent State presented Côte d’Ivoire’s reaction to the communication. The delegation further delivered to the African Commission a written memo in which figured the said observations and arguments pertaining to the admissibility of the communication.