HRC36: NGOs call on Council Members to take a stand against intimidation and reprisals

Europe, Maghreb, Mashrek, Open Letter, Shrinking Space for Civil Society

All States should take a strong stand to address reprisals and to support the crucial resolution “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights” (A/HRC/36/L.26). The resolution is currently being negotiated at this 36th session of the Human Rights Council.

In a letter co-signed by 49 national and international NGOs to Human Rights Council members, it is mentioned that “A weak resolution would seriously undermine the ability of the UN system to address the needs on the ground“. One underlines as well that “Beyond the grave impact on the life of persons concerned and their relatives, intimidation and reprisals also constitute an attack on human rights, the rule of law, and the international and regional mechanisms themselves.”

This resolution on reprisals provides a timely and much needed opportunity for the Council to react towards the growing incidences of intimidation and reprisals that have been reported in the Secretary-General’s most recent report on reprisals.

EuroMed Rights would like to stress in particular, as reported by the Secretary-General’s report;

  • The case of Osman Isci, Professor, Member of EuroMed Rights’ Executive Commitee and representative of the Human Rights Association in Turkey (IHD);
  • The case of Azza Soliman, Egyptian lawyer, head of the board of trustees of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Aid (CEWLA) and prominent women’s rights advocate.

We would like as well to call attention to the case of the prominent human rights lawyer Ibrahim Metwally in Egypt, arrested two weeks ago, while being en route to the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances session.

Read the joint-letter here.