Posts Tagged ‘fact finding’

UN Human Rights Council holds special session on Iran on 24 November

November 23, 2022
Iranian demonstrators in the streets of the capital, Tehran.
Iranian demonstrators in the streets of the capital, Tehran, during a September 21, 2022 protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody.  © 2022 AFP via Getty Images

Just before the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session on ongoing human rights violations in Iran on 24 November, Human Rights Watch urge it to establish an independent fact-finding mission to investigate Iran’s deadly crackdown on widespread protests as a first step toward accountability, Human Rights Watch said today.

The demonstrations began on September 16, 2022, following the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, in the custody of the “morality police.” As of November 22, human rights groups are investigating the deaths of 434 people including 60 children. Human Rights Watch has documented a pattern of Iranian authorities using excessive and unlawful lethal force against protesters in dozens of instances in several cities including Sanandaj, Saghez, Mahabad, Rasht, Amol, Shiraz, Mashhad, and Zahedan.

“Iranian authorities seem determined to unleash brutal force to crush protests and have ignored calls to investigate the mountains of evidence of serious rights violations,” said Tara Sepehri Far, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The UN Human Rights Council should shine a spotlight on the deepening repression and create an independent mechanism to investigate Iranian government abuses and hold those responsible accountable.”

Since mid-November, Iranian authorities have dramatically escalated their crackdown against protests in several Kurdish cities, with at least 39 people killed, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network. The group reported that from November 15 to 18, at least 25 Kurdish-Iranian residents were killed in Kurdish cities during three days of protests and strikes to commemorate the victims of the government’s bloody crackdown on protests in November 2019.

The authorities have pressured families of recent victims to bury their loved ones without public gatherings, but several funerals have become the scene of new protests. The group said that at least 14 people were killed in Javanrood, Piranshahr, Sanandaj, Dehgan, and Bookan from November 19 to 21, 2022. Radio Zamaneh said the victims included Ghader Shakri, 16, killed in Piranshahr on November 19, and Bahaedin Veisi, 16, killed in Javanrood on November 20.

A 32-year-old Sanandaj resident told Human Rights Watch that the security forces fatally shot Shaho Bahmani and Aram Rahimi on November 17 and forcibly removed their bodies from the Kowsar Hospital in Sanandaj, and threatened the two men’s families outside the hospital.

Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, a parliament member from Mahabad, told Shargh Daily on November 21 that between October 27 and 29, security forces killed seven protesters in the city Mahabad. Mahmoudzadeh said security forces also damaged people’s houses; one woman was killed in her home outside of the protests. He said that since then, another man had been killed, and three more had been shot and killed during his funeral, bringing the total number killed in Mahabad, since October 27, to 11.

Videos circulated on social media show that authorities have deployed special forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps units armed with military assault rifles, vehicle-mounted DShK 12.7mm heavy machine guns, and armored vehicles.

On October 24, Masoud Setayeshi, the judiciary spokesperson, told media that authorities have started prosecuting thousands of protesters. These trials, which are often publicized through state media, fall grossly short of international human rights standards, with courts regularly using coerced confessions and defendants not having access to the lawyer of their choice. As of November 21, trial courts have handed down death sentences to at least six protesters on the charges of corruption on earth and enmity against God. The acts judicial authorities have cited to bring charges against the defendants, including “incineration of a government building” or “using a “cold weapon” to “spread terror among the public.” Amnesty International said that at least 21 people are facing charges in connection to the protests that can carry the death penalty.

Since the protests began in September, the authorities have arrested thousands of people during protests as well as hundreds of students, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers outside the protests. Detainees are kept in overcrowded settings and are subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual harassment, Human Rights Watch said.

Two women who were arrested during the first week of protests in Sanandaj told Human Rights Watch that the authorities brutally beat them, sexually harassed them, and threatened them during their arrests and later while they were detained at a police station. One of these women said she had several severe injuries, including internal bleeding and fractures.

Over the past four years, Iran has experienced several waves of widespread protests. Authorities have responded with excessive and unlawful lethal force and the arbitrary arrests of thousands of protesters. In one of the most brutal crackdowns, in November 2019, security forces used unlawful force against massive protests across the country, killing at least 321 people. Iranian authorities have failed to conduct any credible and transparent investigations into the security forces’ serious abuses over the past years.

Iranian authorities have also used partial or total internet shutdowns during widespread protests to restrict access to information and prohibit dissemination of information, in particular videos of the protests, Human Rights Watch said. They have blocked several social media platforms, including WhatsApp messaging application and Instagram, since September 21, 2022, by an order of Iran’s National Security Council.

On November 24, UN Human Rights Council members should vote to establish an independent mechanism to document serious human rights violations in Iran and advance on the path to accountability,” Sepehri Far said.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/23/iran-un-rights-council-should-create-fact-finding-mission

https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/09/1128111

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/12/iran-pushes-back-against-protests-scrutiny-at-un

Subedi’s last fact-finding mission to Cambodia

January 15, 2015

UN Rapporteur Surya P. Subedi will carry out an official visit to Cambodia from 17 to 25 January 2014. This is Mr. Subedi’s last mission in his capacity as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia as appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. He is expected to meet with the Prime Minister and other senior members of the Government as well as human rights defenders, representatives from civil society organisations and communities as well as the UN Country Team and the donor community.

Since his appointment as Special Rapporteur in March 2009, Mr. Subedi has made eleven visits to Cambodia and has presented seven reports to the UN Human Rights Council. He is completing his full term of six years in this position in March 2015 when a new mandate holder will be appointed.

Final fact-finding mission to Cambodia | Scoop News.

For earlier posts on Cambodia: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/cambodia/

The Special Rapporteur’s latest report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/24/36): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session24/Pages/ListReports.aspx

Margaret Sekaggya, UN expert, finds situation of human rights defenders in Togo improved, but not good enough

October 18, 2013

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, on 16 October 2013 called on the Togolese Government to ensure a favourable environment in which human rights defenders can carry out their work. The Government can do this by fully implementing the existing legal framework, avoiding stigmatisation and fostering a spirit of dialogue and constructive criticism, she said at the end of her five-day mission to assess progress made in Togo since her last visit in 2008.

Compared to 2008, “The environment for defenders is more enabling now, but important challenges remainRead the rest of this entry »

Protecting Human Rights Defenders from Reprisals: crucial issue with timely article and side event on 24 September

September 20, 2013

Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, and former UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions wrote a piece on one of the most crucial topics facing human rights defenders at the moment and which has figured regularly in this blog: the issue of retaliation or reprisals against those HRDs who cooperate with the Un and their Rapporteurs.  Read the rest of this entry »

More controversy surrounding the issue of retaliation against HRDs in Sri Lanka

September 10, 2013

article_image

On 9 September 2013, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that she had an immediate concern for the protection of human rights defenders, journalists and communities that she met during her recent visit to Sri Lanka. Read the rest of this entry »

Angola: Human Rights Defenders are still facing many obstacles says recent NGO report

May 22, 2013

Angola: From Theory to Practice – Its Time to Guarantee the Capacity of Human Rights Defenders to Act” (original:  ANGOLA: Da Teoria à Prática – É hora de garantir a capacidade de atuação dos defensores dos direitos humanos) is the title of the report (preliminary findings) published today by The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture OMCT.logo FIDH_seul

OMCT-LOGOThe Observatory carried out a fact-finding mission in Angola, from April 21 to May 1, 2013, to analyse the context in which human rights defenders are operating in the country. The mission delegation met with, amongst others, members of human rights NGOs, journalists, lawyers, artists, along with representatives of national authorities, political parties and foreign diplomatic missions. Read the rest of this entry »

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women concludes mission to India

April 29, 2013

Executive Director of HRA Babloo Loitongbam delivering the vote of thanks of the meeting

(Executive Director of HRA Babloo Loitongbam delivering the vote of thanks of the meeting)

The Indian agency E-Paonet reports in some detail on the visit by a UN Special Rapporteur to India. Let’s start by acknowledging India’s willingness to accept the Rapporteur (unlike other countries such as Eritrea I just reported on today)!

The Rapporteur in question is Rashida Manjoo the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences who held a consultative meeting with representatives of civil society organizations, women human rights defenders, victims and other advocates working on violence against women at Classic Hotel, on 28 April. As many as forty separate depositions were made during the meeting, the largest one during her current 10-day long official mission to India from April 22 to May 1. After hearing all the depositions, Rashida observed that it was not her mandate to comment on the depositions made before her, but assured that her report and recommendations would be based on facts and they would be placed on the table of the forthcoming session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which is scheduled to take place June this year at Geneva for necessary actions. Read the rest of this entry »