UN Human Rights Office documents growing reprisals against civil society for cooperating with United Nations
Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Published on: 19 September 2019
"Human rights: Reported reprisals on the rise, says UN", 19 Sep 2019
In a new report of the UN Secretary-General, to be presented today to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Office says it has documented alleged reprisals against victims as well as members of civil society and activists for cooperating with the United Nations in close to 50 countries. The cases range from activists suffering detention and prison sentences, to acts of intimidation such as filming participants in meetings without their consent even on United Nations premises...The report includes some particularly egregious cases of ill-treatment and torture of women in custody. The full report...is available on-line...“We also have some severe cases of authorities threatening and harassing family members of activists...Some governments seem prepared to go to almost any lengths to punish people who cooperate with us..." The misuse of the online space through hate speech, cyberbullying and smear campaigns is another trend...with women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons particularly targeted...The consequences for civil society are already grave...As a general trend, the the report notes the Secretary-General’s concern at “the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism strategies by States as justification for blocking access to the [UN].” While the UN will continue to strengthen its system-wide response... the onus remains on Member States...