Posts Tagged ‘Office of the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights’

Saudi Arabia claiming to take the lead on human rights implementation…

November 2, 2019

Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Awwad Al-Awwad tol inaugurate on Sunday a new initiative.
Whay to say about this news item published by the Saudi Gazette on 1 November 2019? On the one hand we all wish that countries take the implementation of international human rights mechanisms seriously. On the other hand, there must be a limit to obfuscation. The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) has no independent status [see https://nhri.ohchr.org/EN/Documents/Status%20Accreditation%20Chart%20(04%20March%202019.pdf].
In March 2019, the Human Rights Commission defended the Saudi authorities’ refusal to allow an international investigation into the 2 October 2018 assassination of Jamal Khashogg.

Still, the article boosts that Human Rights Commission President Awwad Al-Awwad will inaugurate on Sunday an initiative to use the national database in order to track the implementation of the recommendations of the international mechanisms with regard to human rights abd thus will become the first Arab country to implement this initiative.

The ceremony will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. The initiative comes within the framework of a memorandum of technical cooperation signed between the Kingdom, represented by HRC, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Under the deal, HRC works to enhance national capacities in the fields of human rights within the Kingdom and outside, through the preparation, development and implementation of specialized training programs, including the mechanisms of the United Nations and the work of the competent international organizations.

Meanwhile, Al-Awwad made on Thursday an inspection tour of the General Intelligence Prison in Al-Hair, near Riyadh, and was reassured of the services being offered to the inmates. He also reviewed the prison’s compliance of the human rights criteria in line with the local and international conventions and regulations. Al-Awwad toured various facilities of the prison, including governmental and non-governmental offices that monitor the conditions of the inmates as well as the family facility where inmates meet their relatives, and the prison hospital.

For more of my posts on Saudi Arabia see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/saudi-arabia/

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/article/581459/SAUDI-ARABIA/Awwad-to-launch-human-rights-initiative-on-Sunday

OHCHR’s Civil Society Section offers to keep you informed weekly

May 15, 2015

Just a quick note to alert those (few?) who do not know it that you can easily subscribe (and unsubscribe) to the “Weekly Updates” from the Civil Society Section of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Mail:  civilsociety@ohchr.org.  Telephone: +41 22 917 9656humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

Films help educate students in Geneva about human rights

May 12, 2015

It may not be news to the readers of this blog but it is good to heart the Office of the Un High Commissioner for G+Human Rights say it: “Movies are powerful” said Elena Ippoliti, Human Rights Officer for the UN Human Rights Office. “Sometimes, young people can open their eyes more through an eight-minute film, than through a two-hour lecture.

For a decade the Office has partnered with the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in carrying out an educational programme, which takes place during the annual film festival. It provides screenings and discussions of a selection of human rights films for students mainly attending the secondary schools in Geneva. The festival was getting good audiences, but films were being seen by people who were already familiar with the issues. He said reaching out to schools seemed a natural fit.

Ippoliti said the education programme is also a chance for the Office to work at a local level in the headquarters host city of Geneva: “We, OHCHR Geneva, work at the global level. But by working with schools here, we also reach out to the local level,”.

Films help educate students about human rights.

Monday 2 March, start of the #idefend campaign

February 28, 2015

On Monday 2 March 2015 starts the “#idefend – Making sure civil society has its voice” campaign. It is an initiative of the Delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Missions of Brazil, the Republic of Korea and Tunisia.

The #idefend campaign takes a public stance to support the voices of civil society.#idefend aims at expressing solidarity with all those human rights defenders and civil society actors, whose dedication and everyday work improve the human rights of people in every corner of the world. Join the campaign and help empower those who speak up for human rights!

Human rights defenders are not violent seditionists, criminals, nor bloody revolutionaries, as so many governments like to portray them. They are the best of us, all of us. And they have a message. To all governments, we say: focus on their message. Listen to what they are saying. Understand the message, talk to them about it, be persuaded or persuade, without violence, instead of silencing them, punishing them, their families, and their communities.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Sadly, over the past years, we have observed a worrying trend at the Human Rights Council: Human Rights Defenders and civil society representatives are hampered from speaking at the Council, sometimes they are harassed upon their arrival to Geneva, or subject to reprisals in their home country upon their return. This is not acceptable.
Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations

#idefend | Making sure civil society has its voice.

Citing freedom of expression, UN calls 15-year sentence for Qatari poet Ibn al Dheeb disproportionate

October 23, 2013

On 22 October 2013 the Office of the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights called for the immediate release of a well-known Qatari poet who it says was harshly sentenced for a poem considered to be encouraging the overthrow of the ruling system of the country. Mohammed al Ajami – also known as Ibn al Dheeb – was initially sentenced to life in prison on 29 November 2012 for the poem, which was also considered insulting to the nation’s symbols. His sentence was reduced to 15 years last February during a second appeal.  On 20 October, Qatar’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, decided to uphold the 15-year sentence. Mr. al Ajami’s only recourse now is to appeal for clemency to the Emir of Qatar, the home country of Al-Jazeera. “This sentence is clearly disproportionate,” OHCHR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva. “Last January, we already publicly expressed our concerns about the harsh sentencing, the fairness of his trial and about the many months Mr. al Ajami had spent in solitary confinement,” she added.

via United Nations News Centre – Citing freedom of expression, UN calls for release of Qatari poet given 15-year sentence.