UN OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [to 23 April 2016]
Selected Press Releases
UN Human Rights Chief deeply concerned at growing military role in Thai Government
GENEVA (22 April 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday expressed growing concern about the military’s deepening role in Thailand’s civilian administration, as well as tight curbs on dissent, as the Kingdom prepares to vote on a final draft Constitution…
“Right to housing vision needed to achieve equality for the poor in India” – UN expert
NEW DELHI/GENEVA (22 April 2016) – The contrast between the vast numbers of pavement-dwellers and the rapid development of luxury real estate was brought into stark focus by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, who today ends a two-week official visit to the country. Leilani Farha called for a national housing law to effectively, and urgently, address the implementation of the right to adequate housing…
Closing space for civil society in the UK, UN expert warns
GENEVA (21 April 2016) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, warned today against a series of measures resulting in the “closing of space for civil society in the UK”, at the end of a four-day visit to the country.*
The Special Rapporteur highlighted that the UK takes its role as one of the global leaders in human rights seriously and added that “many people around the world look to the UK as a model for democracy and human rights” and emphasised that “the UK truly should consider its civil society a national treasure.”…
… “I am concerned about a series of separate measures by the Government – some implemented and others proposed – which, put together, suggest that the Government has a negative view of civil society. These moves have, in many instances, been subtle and gradual, but they are unmistakable and alarming,” said the expert.
The Government’s focus on countering “non-violent extremism” without a narrow and explicit definition was worrisome, Mr Kiai noted. He specifically referred to the Preventstrategy which focuses on individuals and groups that appear contrary to the “British Values” of democracy, pluralism and tolerance, and who are seen as being predisposed to respond to terrorist ideologies.
“The lack of definitional clarity, combined with the encouragement of people to report suspicious activity, have created unease and uncertainty around what can legitimately be discussed in public,” said the expert. Mr. Kiai referred to the case of families who are afraid of even discussing the negative effects of terrorism in their own homes, fearing that their children would talk about it at school and have their intentions misconstrued…
Honduras murders: UN Expert urges independent investigation into killings of rights defenders
GENEVA (22 April 2016) –The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst today urged Honduras to set up an independent investigation into the murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia in March…
Torture and illegal detention on the rise in Burundi – Zeid
GENEVA (18 April 2016) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned Monday of “a sharp increase in the use of torture and ill-treatment in Burundi” and voiced concerns about worrying reports of the existence of illegal detention facilities, both in Bujumbura and in the countryside…