Last week the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association presented his report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly urging states and private sector to respect the exercise of human rights of those mobilising peacefully to address the climate crisis.
During the session dedicated to the adoption of the UPR of Mozambique, the Minister of Justice Helena Mateus Kida presented the last outcomes of its examination. Several states and organisations from civil society have commended Mozambique acceptance of recommendations notably on child marriage prevention, child labour and girl and women empowerment. The inclusion of young people’s participation during this third cycle was also highly appreciated.
In a joint statement, the ISHR and the Center for Democracy and Development welcomed Mozambique’s acceptance of the recommendations aiming at protecting freedom of expression and peaceful demonstrations. However, they shared their concerns on the situation of human defenders which remains sensitive as they face harassment, intimidation and threats. They both called on Mozambique to ensure human rights defenders protection, to give full force to a proper national implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, to impartially combat impunity and to adopt the changes of the Law of Association to make sure it no longer restricts the rights and activities of civil society.
In addition, other NGOs reported that even though 8 recommendations concerning gender identity and sexual orientation have been accepted, all the recommendations relating to LGBT issues and on the access to abortion for rural women were noted. In echo to that, the organisations recalled that the situation for sexual minorities remains alarming as same-sex relationships are still perceived as a crime in the country and some LGBTIQ associations face difficulties in obtaining an official registration.
Finally, Mozambique was urged to prioritise the implementation of recommendations related to the conflict affected area of Cabo Delgado and to ensure that journalists and human rights defenders on site can exercise their activities safely.
Today, UN member States elected members to the UN's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, for the 2022-2024 term. 18 candidates ran for 18 seats, and all were elected, leaving civil society disappointed in a process that can hardly be called an election.
During the adoption of the outcome of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, Niger manifested its willingness to cooperate with human rights mechanisms by accepting almost all the recommendations. However, more efforts for an efficient implementation remain necessary.
Despite Sierra Leone's acceptance of recommendations aiming to improve civil society’s space, cases of reprisals against human rights defenders are still reported.
The DRC has noticeably improved the protection of human rights in the Kasaï region but progress remains slow and action is still needed towards transitional justice and the protection of defenders in this region.
Defender Zhang Haitao's wife addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 20 September, after more than 1240 days without information about her husband's status. He is serving 19 years on 'national security'-related charges, punishing him for exercising freedom of speech.
Human rights organisations* urge the immediate and unconditional release of Egyptian human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer, who completes today two years in arbitrary detention.
Human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia continue to face an increasing crackdown including arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and medical and administrative neglect. The UN Human Rights Council must take action by establishing a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.
Ten organisations renew their call for the immediate and unconditional release of Egyptian human rights defender Abdulrahman Tarek as he receives Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression Award
Despite the Burundian government’s efforts, the human rights situation in the country remains a matter of concern. During the presentation of its report, the Commission of Inquiry underscored the necessity to take more significative actions to pave the way towards sociopolitical stabilization and democracy.
This week in an online event, 10 candidate States publicly spoke to an audience of around 200 people on their pledges as incoming Human Rights Council members for 2022 – 2024. They also faced questions on pressing human rights issues from both States and civil society organisations.
ISHR welcomes the Council’s historic consensus decision, led by the Africa Group, to adopt a resolution mandating an independent international expert mechanism to address systemic racism and to promote racial justice and equality for Africans and people of African descent. The adoption of this resolution is testament to the resilience, bravery and commitment of victims, their families, their representatives and anti-racism defenders globally.