Andorra
Europe
News

HRC46| Andorra UPR: Stop judicial harassment against Vanessa Mendoza Cortés

At the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), during the adoption of the Universal Periodic Report (UPR) report of Andorra, ISHR and its Andorran partner, Stop Violències, delivered a joint statement calling on Andorra to fully implement the recommendations to ensure defenders can work in a safe environment without fear of reprisals.

In response to the statement, the Government of Andorra claimed that ‘the Andorran justice system do [sic] not engage in any judicial harassment.’ However, as the President of Stop Violències Vanessa Mendoza Cortés noted in the statement, she is facing judicial harassment stemming from her engagement with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and from statements to the press calling for the decriminalisation of abortion and improving women’s rights.

On 17 February 2021 a hearing took place as part of the preliminary criminal proceedings against Cortés that are currently ongoing. The shadow report Stop Violències presented to CEDAW is part of the evidence. Cortés is facing charges of ‘slander with publicity’, ‘slander against the co-princes’ and ‘crimes against the reputation of the institutions’, which carry up to four years imprisonment and a 30.000 Euro fine.

ISHR is concerned that the Andorran government’s statement during the UPR adoption did not indicate that the judicial harassment against Cortés will end, nor that the government will ensure her right to prompt and effective remedies.

ISHR and Stop Violències call on Andorra to:

  • Drop all charges against Cortés, and refrain from bringing additional criminal or administrative ones.
  • Ensure that Cortés has access to prompt and effective remedies.
  • Decriminalise defamation and amend the Penal Code in order to prevent undue restrictions of the right to freedom of expression and assembly.
  • Legalise abortion, as recommended by The Netherlands and France.

Read the full statement here and video below (English with Spanish subtitles):

Photo: UN Web TV

Related articles

ACHPR 69: Protect women human rights defenders in Sudan

During each ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘The African Commission’), Commissioners present their activity reports which provides an overview of the work done in between two sessions. On 23 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and Focal point on reprisals presented his report.

ACHRP 69: Periodic review of Benin

In compliance with Article 62 of the African Charter, States have the obligation to report every two years on the legislative, administrative and political measures taken with a view to give effect to human rights guaranteed by the Charter. Despite the challenges of conducting the sessions online, it doesn't prevent the African Commission from holding States accountable to their human rights obligations.

LGBTIQ: 3rd Committee of GA adopts resolution on free and fair elections that makes it the second-ever resolution to mention ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’

During its 76th session and in a move welcomed by civil-society, the Third Committee of the GA adopted by consensus a resolution recognising the rights of all people to participate in elections and public affairs, without discrimination, including on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

ACHPR 69: the situation of human rights defenders in exile in Africa

Concerned about the increase in the number of human rights defenders in exile in Africa, during its 27th Extraordinary session, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’) adopted resolution 439 mandating the African Commission to publish a report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Exile in Africa.

ACHPR 69: Protect defenders in Africa without discrimination

On 16 November, ISHR delivered a statement on the situation of human rights in Africa, with a particular focus on the criminalisation and arrest of women defenders in Sudan, of LGBTI defenders in Namibia and the progress made on legislative protection of defenders in Benin and Mali.

Stay in the loop!

Would you like to be informed of future events, news, updates on our work, invitations and appeals? Please enter your email address below!