A UN report has identified dozens of attacks, threats and acts of intimidation by States against human rights defenders or groups who engaged with UN bodies, with new cases including France’s Assa Traoré.
ISHR has published ‘scorecards’ for States seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2024-2026 to help inform voting States’ decisions in the upcoming election.
On 17 April 2023, ISHR submitted its annual submission to the report to the UN Secretary General on reprisals and intimidation against defenders engaging or seeking to engage with the UN and its human rights mechanisms.
Assa Traoré, a woman human rights defender and the sister of Adama, a victim of racially-motivated police brutality, has faced reprisals by right-wing extremist groups and the union of the police following her participation in the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
For over five years, Assa Traoré, the sister of Adama Traoré, a black French man who was killed at the hands of the police, has faced judicial harassment for campaigning for a transparent investigation to establish the responsibility of the gendarmes, a name given to the paramilitary police officers in France, for the death of her brother and for them to be brought to justice. ISHR joined with the Adama Committee to call on the French Government to urgently put an end to the judicial harassment of Assa Troaré. This harassment diverts the public attention from the justice that is expected for Adama’s death and appears intended to dissuade Assa from continuing her struggle.
Genuinely combating racial discrimination is essential for a more just and peaceful society. This notably requires an end to impunity, especially when the perpetrators of racial discrimination and violence are representatives of the State. This is what ISHR and its French national partner, the Collectif Urgence Notre Police Assassine (UNPA), reminded France in a video statement presented at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.
During the interactive dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on the SG’s Reprisals Report, some States took the welcome step of raising specific cases of reprisals. Many more continued to condemn reprisals only rhetorically. Regrettably, many States used the dialogue to deny the allegations against them contained in the SG’s report.
On Monday 28 September, at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Guinea, which took place on 21 January 2020, was adopted. In a statement delivered during the session, ISHR and its partner, the Collectif des ONGs pour des textes respectueux des droits humains, welcomed the acceptance by Guinea of several recommendations aimed at creating a safe working environment for defenders and combating attacks and threats they face to guarantee freedom of expression, association and assembly.
The UN Working Group on People of African Descent shed light on impunity for police violence against people of African descent. Comité Adama and ISHR demanded an end to racially motivated police violence in France, which is a candidate for election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2021.