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.
On 30 September 2021, the Minister of Justice of Niger Boubakar Hassan has presented the final document to be adopted for the Universal Periodic Review of Niger. Amongst the 254 recommendations received by Niger, 248 were accepted ranging from strengthening the normative and institutional framework of human rights, enhancing the cooperation with human rights mechanisms and the promotion of civil rights. The acceptance of all the recommendations that prioritise girls’ education were notably commended by States and civil society organisations.
In a joint statement, Kanni Abdoulaye, the Coordinator of the Collectif des Organisations de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et de la Démocratie (CODDHD) stated that “since its last examination, Niger only managed to partially lift the restrictions against civil society. Moreover, in 2019, the country adopted a law on cybercriminality which had repressive outputs on activists.”
In addition, other civil society organisations reported the lack of civil society’s space, of freedom of speech, the criminalization of protesters and certain human rights defenders as well as the concerning frequency of child marriages. On these matters, the implementation actions that followed the last UPR examination have not met the expectations of the recommendations so far.
The security context in Niger remains alarming. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and terrorism have hindered the government’s efforts towards proper implementations of the recommendations. The country has called the international community to vividly support Niger and the countries affected by terrorist attacks in the region.
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.
Mozambique has accepted 236 of the 266 recommendations received. While this highlights a slight progress since their last Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the human rights situation in the country still needs large structural improvements.
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.