Bachelet denounces “the widest and most severe” human rights setbacks she has ever seen
LHigh Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for a boost on Monday in the face of the “widest and most severe setbacks” in human rights she has ever seen, in a speech to the highest UN body in this domain.
“To recover from the biggest and most severe human rights setbacks we have ever seen, we must have a life-changing vision and concerted action” to implement it, Ms. Bachelet told the with regard to the members of the Human Rights Council.
On the occasion of its 47th session (until July 13), the Human Rights Council, an institution created 15 years ago, will address multiple crises, including Burma, Belarus and Nicaragua.
Among the expected highlights are also the publication of Ms. Bachelet’s report on systemic racism and police violence against people of African descent, and draft resolutions on the Ethiopian region of Tigray and the Rohingyas in Burma.
This session is once again being held online due to Covid-19, raising discontent among NGOs and countries, while technical issues hamper the flow of debates, with delegates failing to connect while that others are inaudible.
On the occasion of her traditional overview, Ms. Bachelet said she was “deeply disturbed” by the “serious violations” of human rights in Tigray, where the humanitarian situation is “terrible” with more than 350,000 people in crisis. famine.
As national elections take place in Ethiopia on Monday, Ms. Bachelet denounced before the UN’s highest human rights body the abuses committed against civilians “by all parties to the conflict”, against which the central power launched a military offensive in November.
Ms. Bachelet listed extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, sexual violence against children as well as adults, and forced displacement.
“Credible reports indicate that Eritrean soldiers are still operating in Tigray and continue to perpetrate human rights and humanitarian law violations,” she added.
She also reported, in many other parts of Ethiopia, “alarming incidents of ethnic and inter-communal violence” and population displacement: “the current deployment of military forces is not a lasting solution, and I encourages a comprehensive and multidimensional dialogue across the country “.
Xinjiang et Hong Kong
The High Commissioner also said she hoped to obtain this year “significant access” to the Chinese region of Xinjiang, from which “reports of serious human rights violations continue to come out”.
Several human rights organizations have accused China of interning at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang in “re-education camps”. Beijing denies this figure and speaks of “vocational training centers” to support employment and fight religious extremism.
In Geneva, Ms. Bachelet has repeatedly demanded in Beijing “full access” to Xinjiang. And at the end of February, she reiterated her call for a “full and independent assessment” of the human rights situation in this Chinese region.
But human rights defenders are calling on the UN to toughen up.
Still on China, Bachelet also stressed that a year has passed since the adoption of the law on national security in Hong Kong, on which her services have expressed “serious concerns”.
Among the many situations of setbacks in human rights denounced by Ms. Bachelet is also Russia, which the High Commissioner has called on to “ensure respect for civil and political rights” in view of the legislative elections in September.
“I am appalled by the recent measures which further undermine the right of people to express critical opinions, and their ability to take part in the parliamentary elections scheduled for September”, assured the senior UN official, citing the case of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny and the dismantling of his movement.
After a closed-door trial, a Moscow court a few days ago classified as “extremist” the three organizations of Mr. Navalny, including his important regional network, resulting in their ban.
“Legislation restricting the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association must be brought into line with international human rights norms and standards,” said Ms. Bachelet.
She also urged Moscow to end the arbitrary practice of labeling individuals, journalists and NGOs as “extremists”, “foreign agents” or “undesirable organizations”.
21/06/2021 12:59:26 – Geneva (AFP) – © 2021 AFP