World

The situation of human rights defenders: Amnesty International’s written statement to the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council (27 February- 24 March 2017)

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published
Origin
View original

Attachments

Amnesty International urges the Human Rights Council to:

  1. Renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and cooperate fully with it, including by encouraging swift and comprehensive responses to communications from the Special Rapporteur and acceptance of requests for country visits.

  2. Reaffirm that protecting human rights is necessary for individuals to live in dignity, and that deepening respect for these fundamental freedoms lays the foundation for stable, safe and just societies;

  3. Recognize the legitimacy of human rights defenders and applaud the role they play in the advancement of human rights, and urge States to facilitate and publicly support their work;

  4. Urge States to adopt and implement legislation which recognises and protects human rights defenders;

  5. Stress the urgent need for all States to establish national protection mechanisms for human rights defenders at risk;

  6. Urge States effectively to address threats, attacks, harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders, including, where applicable, by thoroughly, promptly and independently investigating human rights violations and abuses against them and bringing alleged perpetrators to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty, and providing effective remedies and adequate reparations to the victims;

  7. Urge States to ensure that the criminal justice system or civil litigation is not misused to target nor harass human rights defenders;

  8. Refrain from bringing criminal charges or, other judicial proceedings or taking administrative measures against human rights defenders because of the peaceful exercise of their rights;

  9. Ensure that those who challenge injustice peacefully are not portrayed as threats to security, development or traditional values;

  10. Emphasize the fact that human rights defenders who work on gender equality, women’s rights or LGBTIQ rights face particular risk of being subjected to certain forms of violence and other violations that need to be particularly addressed;

  11. Pay particular attention to other groups who may be at risk, such as those who work for economic, social and cultural rights, defenders who work in the area of business and human rights; in an area exposed to internal conflict or a natural disaster; defenders living in isolated regions or conflict zones; and defenders working on past abuses, such as the families of victims of enforced disappearance;

  12. Condemn any acts of intimidation or reprisals against human rights defenders who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights mechanism;

  13. Urge States to cooperate fully with the recently mandated Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights to prevent, end and redress acts of reprisal and intimidation.