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. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, which ratified the Charter in 1986, submitted its 15th-16th and 17th Periodic Reports for its review.
We are inspired by the leadership and courage shown by those organising peaceful protests to call for change and by the human rights defenders and journalists working on the frontlines to document violations and defend rights. We are appalled by attacks against them by law enforcement officers and public officials.
Journalists and human rights defenders must be safe and free to do their vital work. Indeed, law enforcement officers and public officials are tasked with ensuring their rights are respected – not violated. Attacks against journalists and human rights defenders must be fully and independently investigated and perpetrators held accountable, in the U.S. and everywhere they occur.
The rights to equality and non-discrimination, to freedom of expression, to freedom of assembly and protest, and to defend human rights are all indispensable to fair, safe and just communities in the U.S. and across the world. These rights must be respected and protected. We pledge to work within ISHR and with our colleagues in human rights movements to address issues of racism and systemic discrimination, to promote diversity and inclusivity, and to support human rights defenders, including those working on police brutality, in their demands for justice.
ISHR is committed to highlighting how the voices of the families of those killed by police in the U.S., including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Michael Brown, and the organisations supporting them are driving the UN to call for action to stop the killings and address deep-seated racism and inequality. This is necessary but not sufficient; we echo the call of the UN independent human rights experts and the Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that ‘this is a time for action and not just talk’.
This is why we’ve joined more than 600 organisations, from the U.S. and around the world, in calling on the UN Human Rights Council to hold a Special Session on the situation of human rights in the U.S.
The international community has a critical role to play in advancing independent, expert inquiry into systemic racism in law enforcement in the U.S., starting with the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, and the concerns of excessive use of force against protestors and journalists since George Floyd’s murder.
A group of States at the United Nations Human Rights Council betrayed principles of human rights, non-discrimination and accountability today in opposing a historic resolution in response to a UN report finding possible crimes against humanity committed by the Chinese government against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.
More than two years since George Floyd's horrific murder, UN human rights bodies raise the alarm about the lack of progress on addressing police violence and systemic racism globally. We call on the Human Rights Council and States to fight entrenched and systemic racism against Africans and people of African descent.