UN High Commissioner preparing report on reprisals agains Human Rights Defenders

May 15, 2012

On 23 March 2012 I reported on the harassment of HRDs – especially from Sri Lanka- who were in Geneva to testify at the Human Rights Council. The High Commissioners Office took a firm stand against this and the Council asked for a report on “Reprisals against persons cooperating with United Nations human rights mechanisms” to be submitted to the Council in September.

That this being taken seriously is shown by the request for information sent out to all NGOs.

Dear All,

In preparation of the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report to the Human Rights Council (September 2012) on reprisals against persons cooperating with United Nations human rights mechanisms, information is invited about cases of reprisals. Please send submissions by 15 June 2012 to reprisals@ohchr.org. The next report is expected to cover the period between June 2011 and June 2012.

Submissions should:

– fall within the scope of Human Rights Council resolution 12/2 – http://goo.gl/Ulvwo

– give attention to the necessity to preserve the security of the persons concerned; please indicate if the victim (or his/her family) has agreed to be mentioned in this report and has been informed accordingly;

 – indicate if the alleged reprisal has been referred to in any UN documents (provide citations);

– in addition, follow-up information (e.g. any developments, whether additional reprisals took place, whether measures were taken by the State to investigate, etc.) is invited on the cases included in the 2011 report. Cases in 2011 referred to Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, India, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan.

Get the 2011 report –  http://goo.gl/LDg9p (Deadline 15 June 2012)

Please share widely.
 At its 12th session, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights”. The resolution invites the Secretary-General to annually submit a report to the Council, containing a compilation and analysis on alleged reprisals against persons cooperating with UN human rights mechanisms (see para. 1 of the resolution), as well as recommendations on how to address the issues of intimidation and reprisals. In addition to cases of reprisals regarding cooperation with the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteurs and Treaty Bodies, the report can also include cases of reprisals due to cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, its field presences and human rights advisers, United Nations Country Teams, the human rights components of peacekeeping missions, etc.

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