Ukraine’s suffering continues, acting UN rights chief tells Human Rights Council — Global Issues

Just over 200 days since Russia invaded its neighboring country, the acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif speak that throughout Ukraine, “the suffering of civilians continues”.

The special Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine will be the first to submit its findings on possible war crimes to the Council on 23 September. In particular, it is tasked with investigating grave abuses in the Kyiv regions. , Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy in late February and in March.

Beyond the war-torn nation, severe fuel shortages and threats to food security are the norm in some of the world’s poorest countries, she said.

Call for Black Sea Grains Initiative

After greeting and calling for “full respect” of agreement Regarding Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Türkiye allowing the resumption of shipments of grain and other food supplies from Ukrainian ports, Nada Al-Nashif called on the international community to “ensure food arrives hands of those in need”.

In Russia, she stressed that “threats, restrictive and punitive measures” against critics of the war in Ukraine have undermined “fundamental freedoms”, as well as have “pressured force against journalists, internet jamming, “and other forms of censorship”.

United Nations Acting Head of Rights – Newly appointed Permanent High Commissioner Volker Türk of Austria until Britain begins – also calls on Russia to review the measures it has taken to expand the “foreign agent” label to include individuals deemed to be “under foreign influence”. outside”, in addition to criminalizing undeclared contacts “with representatives of States, foreign countries or international organizations” considered to be a risk to Russia’s security.

No ‘backtracking’ energy

In response to the European energy crisis caused by Ukraine conflict, some European Union countries have had an “understandable” impulse to reinvest in fossil fuels; but “there is no room for retreat in the face of the ongoing climate crisis,” argued Al-Nashif.

“In line with their international human rights obligations, I encourage all States to seek an ambitious outcome at [the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27)]including addressing loss and damage, and meeting and strengthening climate financing commitments. “

In keeping with Council tradition, the High Commissioner’s opening address highlighted many other serious global emergencies that require “urgent action” to alleviate suffering.

Burundian focal point

They include Burkina Fasowhere State security operations have resulted in an increase in human rights violations “affecting many civilians”.

Burundi Ms. Al-Nashif said, before referring to the recent call by the youth head of the ruling party which has also seen “the civic space shrinking”. Imbonerakure wings, to destroy all “troublemakers” and continue night patrol.

In Central African RepublicThe United Nations Chief of Staff called on the Government to ensure that security forces and “foreign private military contractors… immediately stop… targeted attacks against Muslims and other ethnic minorities”.

Haitian gang violence disaster

Highlighting armed gang abuses in HaitianShe believes it is necessary to support the State in its efforts to limit violence and play an important role for the international community in strengthening supervision and accountability to tackle sexual, financial and criminal crimes. urban.

Moving on to ongoing harassment and murder in HondurasMs. Al-Nashif called on the authorities to increase funding to protect human rights defenders, noting that about 120 victims were recorded there, two-thirds of which were environmentalists. schools and many people of Afro-Honduras origin or ancestry.

In early 2022, the UN helped resettle people displaced by Gang Violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  (file)

© IOM Haiti / Monica Chiriac

In early 2022, the UN helped resettle people displaced by Gang Violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (file)

Papua’s focal point

Amid reports of increased violence in the Papua region of IndonesiaThe head of the right to act said he was shocked to learn of the fragmented bodies of four indigenous Papuans in recent weeks, as clashes ensued between forces and armed groups, causing several deaths and evacuations.

Meanwhile, ordinary people continue to suffer the consequences of a political stalemate in the Iraqcausing “economic challenges, a shrinking space for free speech, and the severe impact of climate change”.

“Tensions culminated in violence at the end of August, which resulted in more than 34 deaths and nearly 300 injuries, and called on all parties involved” to stop the violence, she told the Council. and ensure the participation of all groups, in particular women and civil society, in national dialogue processes”.

Abu Akleh kills people

inside Occupied Palestinian TerritoriesAl-Nashif noted with concern that an increasing number of Palestinians, including children, are being killed and wounded by Israeli forces.

Noting the Israeli military’s investigation into the May 11 murder of TV journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, she called for a criminal investigation “in compliance with international law standards”.

Veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has spent a quarter of a century living under Israeli military rule.

Al Jazeera

Veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has spent a quarter of a century living under Israeli military rule.

Concerns about Tajikistan’s rearmament

In TajikistanThe UN rights chief pointed to ongoing concerns in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region about recent prosecution requests for 25-year prison sentences or life in prison for some activists and journalists. .

“I call for investigations into human rights violations or abuses and ensure fair trials in accordance with international human rights standards,” Ms. Al-Nashif said. -Nashif stressed, before adding that the detention and deportation of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers includes families with children. , had “violated the no-refit principle”.

Condemn SingaporeThe recent executions of “at least eight people for drug-related crimes”, the Acting High Commissioner reiterated her Office’s call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, particularly for with non-violent drug crimes.

The Council also heard from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, who described the “staggering setback” in civil, political, economic, social and political rights. culture of women and girls – including the suspension of high school. education for girls, since the Taliban took over last August.

“There is no other country where women and girls disappear so rapidly from all spheres of public life,” Mr Bennett said, adding that despite this, they continue to “call for accountability.” explanation”.

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