Due to its strategic location, Djibouti is a key ally to major international powers, which maintain military bases in the country while showing little regard for its human rights record. Djibouti is still governed by laws of exception introduced as security measures, and the state of emergency declared in 2015 remains in place. Although the authorities adopted these measures in the name of countering terrorism, they unreasonably restrict the exercise of freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

Free participation in public and political affairs is not guaranteed, as the current president Ismail Omar Guelleh has won each presidential election since 1999, all of which have been systematically boycotted by opposition groups. Members of opposition parties are regularly the target of arbitrary arrest and detention, in violation of the terms agreed in the 2014 reconciliation process. Some parties have been banned and their members prosecuted for having continued their activities.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are limited by both the state’s monopoly on national media and a systematic repression of online criticism. Alongside these factors, restrictive laws and the government’s harassment and detention of independent journalists have created a climate of self-censorship that limits media freedom in the country.

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Country legislation

Amended Constitution of 2010

Code of Criminal Procedure of 1995 (FR)

Penal Code of 1995 (FR)

Presidential Decree No. 38 of 1995 on the Penal Code (FR)

Law No. 110 of 2011 for the Fight Against Terrorism Financing (FR)

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Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR ratified?
ICCPR ratified on
Has the Human Rights Committee individual complaint mechanism been accepted?
ICCPR Optional Protocol 1 ratified on
Has the second Optional Protocol of the ICCPR (abolition of the death penalty) been ratified?
Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations last issued on
Next Human Rights Committee state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT ratified?
UNCAT ratified on
Has the Optional Protocol to the UNCAT been ratified?
Has a National Preventive Mechanism against torture been created?
Has the confidential inquiry procedure been accepted?
Has the individual complaint procedure been accepted?
Committee against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations last issued on
Next CAT state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED ratified?
Human Rights Council
Last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on
Next Universal Periodic Review to be held on
Membership of Human Rights Council:

2009 / 2012

National Human Rights Institution
Accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)