Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’

Three international Human Rights Groups Urge Gambia to Stop Crackdown on HRDs

January 2, 2013

The Gambian Government must stop immediately intimidation and harassment of HRDs, journalists, lawyers and government critics generally says a joint statement by ARTICLE 19, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Amnesty International. Since the beginning of December, at least nine cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention have been documented.

via Human Rights Groups Urge Gambia Govt to Stop Crackdown on Critics.

UAE should do more than donate money to earn a seat on the Human Rights Council

November 17, 2012
United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The United Arab Emirates should swiftly end the arbitrary detention and harassment of its critics in line with its obligations as a recently elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, say a number of NGOs In an open letter to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan, Human Rights Watch, the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the West African Human Rights Defenders Network urge the UAE to make reforms in the following key areas.


  • Cease arbitrary detentions and respect the right to fair trial
  • Respect the right to freedom of expression and opinion
  • End the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in detention
  • Implement key recommendations of treaty bodies
  • Respect the fundamental rights of migrant workers and stateless.


The UAE secured its position on the Human Rights Council on November 12, 2012, after standing unopposed for one of the five vacant seats reserved for Asian states. The UAE’s election to the council coincides with a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation domestically, which led to the European Parliament expressing “great concern” in a resolution adopted on October 26. “Now that the UAE has been elected to the Human Rights Council, it’s high time for real improvements in the human rights situation in the country,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The UAE should mark its election by ending arbitrary detention of 63 political detainees and taking steps to protect the rights of migrant workers.


Indeed it is good that the NGOs remind the UAE’s rulers that a commitment to human rights entails a commitment to take concrete steps, legislative and otherwise, to uphold the principles and standards of human rights law. These steps should clearly be more than the donations recently made (reported on 16 November) to the United Nations including:


–  $10,000 for the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture;


– $30,000 for the United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of slavery; and….


– $50,000 for the Trust Fund to Support the Activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights!