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UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE SITUATION OF DEFENDERS

|MANDATE| |REPORTS| |PRESS RELEASES| |MISSIONS|

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GENEVA (22 March 2011) – “From security to the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, the Government of Bahrain has ignored key human rights commitments made a month ago,” warned Tuesday a group of UN independent experts*. “These promises have been broken, and the authorities have embarked on a path of multiple human rights violations amidst a dramatic deterioration of peace and security in the country.”

“In light of the discrepancies between reality and expectations, the Government’s commitments are in question,” the experts said recalling two official statements in response to condemnations by the UN human rights chief and experts in relation to the crackdown against peaceful protestors: ‘The Government of Bahrain’s immediate priority is to keep peace and security’ and ‘The people are now able to demonstrate freely on the Pearl Roundabout and can continue to do so.’ (more…)

In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 14/5, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has drafted this questionnaire, the purpose of which is to “…consult States, national human rights institutions, civil society and other relevant stakeholders on the conceptual and practical dimensions of prevention with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights” (operative paragraph 6, A/HRC/RES/14/5).

Please find the questionnaire at this link: http://portal.ohchr.org/portal/page/portal/CivilSocietySection/PreventionSurvey/Questionnaire.doc

Login name: civilsociety_user – Password: CSS3012

Please return it by 25 March 2011 to vlozano@ohchr.org

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GENEVA (22 February 2011) – “Power cannot be sustained by killing people,” said Tuesday a group of UN human rights experts*, who warned the Government of Libya that the gross violations of human rights committed in the past few days could amount to “crimes against humanity.”

“The situation in Libya is quickly spilling out of control with the Government targeting the very people it has been mandated to serve,” the independent experts said. “Adopting tactics such as the use of live ammunition to crush dissent is unacceptable.”

“Such acts cannot go unpunished,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, Christof Heyns. “By engaging in a massacre of its own people, the Government of Libya is guilty of committing gross violations of human rights which could amount to crimes against humanity.” (more…)

GENEVA (Friday 18 February 2011) – A group of UN human rights experts* urged Friday the Governments of Bahrain and Libya to guarantee the right to peaceful protest and immediately cease the use of excessive and lethal force.

“We are alarmed and shocked by the number of peaceful protesters who have been injured or killed in both countries during the violent crackdown by the authorities,” stated the experts.

Reports indicate that seven protesters have died in Bahrain in the past few days and at least 24 in Libya, with some sources reporting up to 50 deaths, as well as hundreds of people injured as a result of disproportionate and lethal force. (more…)