Human Rights

Seven times countries dismissed UN Human Rights reports in the recent past

The Office of United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights, has continuously released reports about violations happening around the world. Many times, UN relies on data shared by local human rights groups, when denied access to ground zero.

The recently released first of its kind Human Rights report on Kashmir was dismissed by the Indian government by calling the report ‘fallacious, tendentious and motivated’. A senior journalist in India called the report “airy fairy”. But this has not happened for the first time.

Countries have dismissed UN reports more often than accepting them let alone working on the recommendations.

 

Venezuela dismissed UN Human Rights Report

The Venezuelan government criticized a United Nations Human Rights report on the Latin American nation as “lacking technical rigor and objectivity.”

They categorically rejected the report regarding the alleged human rights situation in the country, published by the Office of United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Relations they said that the report is “highly questionable about its methodology that buries the credibility and technical rigor demanded of an office of this nature, and violates the principles of objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity”.

While the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that “rule of law is virtually absent in Venezuela,” after a report was published citing “shocking” accounts of alleged extrajudicial killings by state forces.

 

India rejected UNHRC report on human rights violation in Kashmir

The Ministry of External Affairs while rejecting the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) first report on human rights violations in the region, said that the report legitimises terror activities in Kashmir and also criticized the body for referring to terror organisations as “armed groups” and terrorists as “leaders”.

While India’s Ministry of External Affairs rejected the report, calling it “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” and also questioning its intent in bringing out a selective compilation of largely unverified information to build a false narrative.

Commissioner Zeid has urged the UN Human Rights Council to set up a Commission of Inquiry for a more comprehensive investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir, reiterating the need for international access to the region.

The UNHCR report on Kashmir focuses on both sides of the LoC, it focuses mainly on serious violations in Jammu and Kashmir between July 2016 and April 2018, claiming that armed forces had killed some 145 civilians and armed groups had killed up to 20 civilians.

The UNHR claims that the report contained 388 footnotes of all the sources that had been used – the Parliament, the Supreme Court of India, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly – among others.

 

Israel rejected U.N. report on companies linked to settlements

In report by The United Nations human rights office it was identified that 206 companies are doing business linked to unlawful Israeli settlements in the West Bank and it urged them to avoid any complicity in “pervasive” violations against Palestinians.

It further said that, “In doing so, they are contributing to Israel’s confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and are involved in the exploitation of Palestine’s natural resources.”

Aviva Raz Shechter, Israeli ambassador told Reuters that it is “outside the competence and the authority of the Human Rights Council to deal with blacklisting… This is part of the bias to try to delegitimize Israel”.

 

Cambodia criticizes UN human rights report

Cambodia’s ambassador to the United Nations attacked a human rights report by the organisation that highlighted the Kingdom’s intensified political friction, including the forced dissolution of its main opposition party and the shrinking of individual freedoms.

In the 37th Human Rights Council session, Ney Sam Ol, Cambodia’s ambassador and a permanent representative of Cambodia to the UN, said Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein failed to recognize “tremendous outcomes in relation to the promotion and protection of human rights in this country”.

The report by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, published, noted an “escalation in political tensions and curtailment of civic space”, as well as reports of police intimidation of opposition supporters and civil society organisations.

In the report’s defence, Cambodian Center for Human Right Executive Director Chak Sopheap noted the role of rights groups, including the UN office on human rights, was to highlight areas for improvement and they did so “independently, impartially, and objectively, no matter the party in power”.

 

Turkey dismissed UN human rights report

The foreign ministry of Turkey while criticizing the UN Human Rights report said that they will submit a formal notification to the OHCHR as the UN human rights report had ignored the “terrorist threats faced by Turkey” and “matching the propaganda of terrorists”.

In a statement, the ministry said that the aforementioned text “has no meaning” as it does not take into consideration the situation in Turkey following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, which “targeted the survival of the country and the democratic life of the nation.”

The report urged Turkey to “promptly end the state of emergency and restore the normal functioning of institutions and the rule of law,” while criticizing the detention of around 160,000 people following the deadly coup attempt, which killed 251 people.

The ministry also noted that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein claim of having no access to Turkey is “baseless” and said he has declined Turkey’s invitations to visit the country, and “refrained from submitting any request to visit Turkey for preparing this last text and he has prepared it in cooperation with terror-affiliated circles.”

 

Myanmar rejected UN Human Rights report

Myanmar, rejected allegations of crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims last year and accusing the UN of making exaggerated claims in its report on the issue.

A UN report in February said security forces instigated a campaign that “very likely” amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar.

Myanmar also said that the UN report did not take into consideration “violent acts” committed by the insurgents, instead focusing on the activities of the security forces.

The country’s own 13-member investigation team – led by former head of military intelligence and now vice president, Myint Swe – has been dismissed by human rights monitors as lacking independence to produce a credible report.

 

Russia rejects UN human rights report on Crimea

The United Nations said in a report Russia has committed “multiple and grave” human rights abuses in Crimea since reclaiming the territory three years ago. Arbitrary arrests, torture and the imposition of Russian citizenship on residents of the former Ukrainian region was also mentioned.

The abuses included the extrajudicial killing of at least one pro-Ukrainian activist, the panel found, and while dozens of people abducted from 2014 to 2016 have been released, at least 10 are still missing.

According to the Interfax news agency, Russia’s human rights ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova dismissed the report as “an unjust and biased assessment of the human rights situation in Crimea”.

A Crimean official also complained that the account was not objective and did not reflect reality.


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