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 interactive dialogue, ISHR and SOS Information Juridique Multisectorielle (SOS IJM) delivered a joint statement highlighting the urgent need to establish transitional justice mechanisms and to adopt a national law protecting defenders, in line with international standards.
“We therefore urge the Congolese Parliament to adopt a national law for the protection of human rights defenders, pro-democracy activists, and whistleblowers that meets international standards” said Justin Bahirwe from SOS IJM.
To echo this call, the United Kingdom, France and Ireland all shared their concerns on the continued violations and repression against journalists and defenders as well as during peaceful protests and called on the government to guarantee that defenders are able to work without fear of reprisals.
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, commended the DRC for its efforts since the last report but noted that there are still violations committed by the security forces, that the state of siege in the North-Kivu has a negative impact on the administration of justice and that the process towards the establishment of the transitional justice mechanisms needs to be accelerated to ensure victims have access to redress.
The Minister for Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Albert Fabrice Puela, affirmed his willingness to continue to work towards the improvement of the human rights situation in the country. He also emphasised the importance to fight impunity against perpetrators of violations against human rights defenders such as the case of the murder of Floribert Chebeya et Fidèle Bazana wich cases are currently in front of the courts in the DRC.
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.
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.
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.