Breaking the “vicious circle of mistrust, narrow-mindedness and collective hysteria”: The United Nations Human Rights Council on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt opened the session by outlining the key findings of his report. He emphasised that manifestations of collective religious hatred “do not “erupt” like a volcano, but are caused by human beings, whose actions or omissions can set in motion a seemingly unstoppable negative dynamic in societies”. The Special Rapporteur reflectedthat, “hate-filled sentiments can trigger a vicious circle of mistrust, narrow-mindedness, collective hysteria, contempt-filled rumours and fear of imaginary conspiracies”, which often result in “hate manifestations [targeting] members of religious minorities or individual dissenters”.

“They are dying of tuberculosis, and collapsing on hunger strike”: An Urgent Call for the Release of Eritrean Refugees in Negad Detention Centre

HRCE has been campaigning for the release and resettlement of the Eritrean refugees for the last three years. Currently, they are detained incommunicado, without visiting rights, and in inhumane conditions at Nagad Detention Centre in Djibouti. Most are deserters from forcible and indefinite national military conscription in Eritrea and several have been detained for as long as six years.

As Violence in Syria Reaches “Unthinkable Levels”, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry reports to the Human Rights Council

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic today reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the ongoing conflict. They noted with regret that “save for the efforts of humanitarian agencies operating inside Syria and along its borders, the international community has done little but bear witness to the plight of those caught in the maelstrom. Syrians feel abandoned and hopeless. The overwhelming imperative is for the parties, influential states and the international community to work to ensure the protection of civilians. In particular, as set out in Security Council resolution 2139, parties must lift the sieges and allow unimpeded and safe humanitarian access”.

“The concept of child-sensitive justice is at the centre of the protection of human rights for children”: The United Nations Human Rights Council on Children’s Access to Justice

Article 2 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides for the right to an effective remedy, and this guarantee implies that all children must be able to obtain fair and timely remedy for violations of their rights. In its General Comment No. 31 on the Nature of the General Legal Obligation Imposed on State Parties to the Covenant, the Human Rights Committee also emphasised that such “remedies should be appropriately adapted so as to take account of the special vulnerability of certain categories of person, including in particular children”.

One soldier told a Muslim man as his village was being burned: “The only thing you can do is pray to save your lives”

On the 12th March 2014, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, submitted his report to the United National Human Rights Council. He concluded that “extrajudicial killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in detention, denial of due process and fair trial rights, and the forcible transfer and severe deprivation of liberty of populations has taken place on a large scale and has been directed against the Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State.”

“We should raise our ambitions beyond just preventing violations”: Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Minister reaffirmed Bahrain’s commitment to cooperating with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and noted that a delegation from her Office is currently in Bahrain engaging in consultations to draw up a Programme of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building. H.E. Sheik Al Khalifa thanked the High Commissioner for this invaluable support, which will “help [Bahrain] to further incorporate international human rights standards into our national laws and policies” and “promote an enduring human rights culture”.

“We are working hard to increase the participation of women in moving towards democracy”: Libya’s Minister of Justice at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Mr. Elmarghani thanked Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights, and all members of her office for their efforts to promote and protect human rights in Libya. He also thanked the delegation of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and their efforts to establish the rule of law in the nation.

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