On Wednesday 7 December, ECOSOC Member States will be asked to vote on the accreditation of 9 NGOs that have been arbitrarily blocked from UN participation, including one that has been blocked for 15 years - the longest in the history of the institution.
Over a dozen human rights organisations have sent a letter to all UN ambassadors, urging them to take action and protect human rights defenders in Yemen. The letter draws particular attention to recent efforts by the Government of Yemen to silence renowned Yemeni human rights advocates and civil society leaders.
The organisations also wrote to express serious concern regarding continued arbitrary arrests, detentions, and harassment of advocates and activists by Government forces in northern Yemen. Of particular concern is the case of Radhya Almutawakel, the chairperson of the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights. Despite their internationally recognised and priceless work on the situation in their country, Almutawakel and her colleagues at Mwatana have been beaten, harassed, and detained numerous times by the Houthis—the group the Yemeni Government now claims Mwatana are ‘covertly supporting’.
The NGOs who signed the letter therefore call for all UN ambassadors to urge the Government of Yemen to respect its international human rights obligations. The letter also invites all parties to the conflict to respect the rights of human rights defenders and civil society actors.
Photo: Commons Wikipedia
ISHR joins open letter to the embassies of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America to Egypt, and the European Union Delegation to Egypt.
The two independent UN anti-torture expert bodies, the Committee Against Torture and its Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, publicly 'deplored Nicaragua's refusal to cooperate', and publish confidential report in an unprecedented move. Over the past year, Nicaragua has refused to undergo reviews by six UN committees on torture, women's rights, racial discrimination, civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights.