Posts Tagged ‘Frank William La Rue’

Three UN Rapporteurs call on Uganda to repeal new bill restricting public assembly

September 3, 2013

(Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peacful assembly and of association Maina Kiai. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)
On 9 August 2013 three independent United Nations Rapporteurs jointly called on the Government of Uganda to repeal a new bill that places restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and to prepare a new version that complies with the country’s international human rights obligations. Read the rest of this entry »

Exemplary piece on how complex human rights mechanisms relate to a country situation: in this case Malaysia

May 10, 2012

Under the somewhat narrow title: “Allow UN Special Rapporteur to probe Bersih 3.0” Ms Khoo Ying Hooi, a staff member at University Malaya, published on 10 May 2012 an excellent piece bringing together the variety of existing UN human rights mechanisms and Malaysia’ s reluctance to really embrace them. She compares the political commitments made by her country when seeking a seat on the Human Rights Council with the willingness of the Government to receive UN Rapporteurs and to implement the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It is a rather long and detailed piece but worth reading in full. It was published in http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/197526.

Some of the most relevant parts to whet your appetite:

The Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank William La Rue, wanted to investigate the Bersih 3.0 rally that took place on April 28. The Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister, Anifah Aman, is quoted as saying: “We are a sovereign nation.…….. I do not see the necessity for any outside organisation to determine whether we are free or fair.”

Ms Khoo Ying Hooi then recalls that in declaring its intention for its candidature for the HRC, the Malaysian government circulated a memorandum dated March 9, 2010, outlining its human rights record and its pledges and voluntary commitments, including “deepening and widening our cooperation with and support for the work of various UN actors and mechanisms involved in the promotion and protection of human rights such as the … Special Procedures of the HRC”. However, she continues, the way Anifah Aman described the Special Rapporteur and the HRC, as the “outsider” and the “outside organisation” is detrimental to the country.

It doesn’t reflect the commitment that the government has promised to the HRC and it is obviously just another diplomatic exercise.

The author then gives a clear explanation of the general system of the Special Procedures and summarizes with relevant detail the disappointing results of the 1998 visit to Malaysia by the (former) Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Abid Hussain.

She also describes the Malaysian Government’s commitment at the international level through the UPR mechanism and contrasts them with the reluctance to receive Special Rapporteurs. She ends with the strong but polite conclusion that:
”Despite the obligation on government to protect and promote the human rights, Malaysia continues to brush these concerns aside. It is indeed contradictory for Anifah Aman to come up with such a response on the offer made by La Rue.

The Foreign Affairs Minister should have been more sensitive and aware of the promises made by the government in the international level particularly in view of the next UPR review in 2013.”

Let us see whether next year the UN and NGOs can make good use of the ammunition here provided.