CIHRS Welcomes the New High Commissioner, and Calls for Further Efforts Against Repression and Corruption in the Region
On September 8, the UN Human Rights Council opened its 27th session in Geneva, scheduled to end on September 26. During the session, CIHRS intends to tackle the state of human rights in various Arab countries, including Syria, Yemen, Libya, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
On the first day of the session, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies presented an oral intervention in which it welcomed the new High Commissioner Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad who begins his duties at a critical juncture for the human rights movement in the Arab region. During the intervention, CIHRS noted that the intensity of human rights violations by state and armed non-state actors has increased, and argued that the deteriorating situation in many Arab countries has been the result of decades of brutal state repression and corruption without deterrent. CIHRS demanded that Bin Ra’ad continue his efforts reminding the international community that sustained repression and corruption often leads to increased unrest and provides fertile ground for the growth of extremist and terrorist movements.
Non-governmental organizations play an important role highlighting the status of human rights in many countries and confronting governments about their human rights violations, in both oral and written interventions at HRC sessions. The CIHRS is using the opportunity afforded by the council’s discussion of issues relevant to the Arab world to submit interventions and testimonies on the situation in the region. The CIHRS enjoys consultative status with the United Nations, which enables it to present interventions and reports to the council.
In this context, CIHRS will present a series of oral interventions about the status of human rights in Syria, Yemen, Libya, the Gulf countries, and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It will continue to insist on the need to refer the situation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories to the International Criminal Court. In solidarity with the stance of Palestinian organizations, CIHRS will also insist on the necessity of holding an urgent session at the Swiss Federal Council to investigate Israel’s violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and take the necessary measures to ensure Israel’s compliance with its articles.
During the session, Qatar will undergo its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), during which the Qatari government will declare the recommendations it will comply with in the next four and half years. This comes at a time in which the human rights situation in Qatar has witnessed a serious setback with the recent disappearance of international human rights observers there investigating the status of migrant workers.
CIHRS will also organize a number of side-events related to human rights in the Arab region. On September 9, and in co-operation with the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, the National Committee for Monitoring Violations, the World Alliance for Citizenship Participation (CIVCUS), and a number of legal activists, CIHRS will hold a seminar about the status of human rights in Gulf countries, especially in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
On 12 September, and in co-operation of the Yemeni Network for Human Rights and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, CIHRS will hold a special meeting to discuss the status of human rights in Yemen in the light of the worrying escalation of unrest there.
The Human Rights Council is the primary UN body concerned with human rights. The council holds three regular sessions every year to discuss human rights issues in various countries. It is comprised of 47 member-states, elected for fixed terms. The council began operation in 2006, inaugurating its first session on June 19, 2006.
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