UN OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [to 26 March 2016]
Selected Press Releases
UN rights chief expresses serious concerns over EU-Turkey agreement
GENEVA (24 March 2016) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday expressed serious concerns about the recent agreement between the European Union and Turkey, pointing to what he termed “a contradiction at the heart of the agreement,” as well as raising concerns regarding arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants…
Zeid lauds “hugely significant” conviction of Radovan Karadzic
GENEVA (24 March 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein welcomed the verdict against Radovan Karadzic, President of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic, which was delivered today by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, describing it as “hugely significant.” Karadzic was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Twenty-one years after Karadzic was indicted, this verdict is a forceful manifestation of the international community’s implacable commitment to accountability,” Zeid said. “Karadzic master-minded the confinement, rape, torture and murder of thousands of people; the shelling of civilians; the siege of Sarajevo; and the extensive destruction and plunder of property, including Muslim and Roman Catholic places of worship.”
“His judgment is symbolically powerful – above all for the victims of the crimes committed during the wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and across the former Yugoslavia, but also for victims across the world. No matter how powerful they are, no matter how untouchable they imagine themselves to be, no matter what continent they inhabit, the perpetrators of such crimes must know that they will not escape justice. Having witnessed first hand the effect of the horrific crimes for which Karadzic has been convicted, I welcome the findings of the Tribunal.”…
Zeid urges Egypt to halt repression of NGOs
GENEVA (23 March 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the closure of hundreds of civil society organizations in Egypt and the prosecutions of numerous human rights defenders for their legitimate work since November 2014.
“This looks like a clampdown on sections of Egyptian civil society and it must stop,” said Zeid. “NGOs who have played a valuable role in documenting violations and supporting victims will see their activities completely crippled if this continues. This will stifle the voices of those who advocate for victims.”…