GENEVA / BACHELET GLOBAL UPDATE

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08-Mar-2022 00:03:09
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed her deep concern about the civilians trapped in active hostilities in numerous areas of Ukraine, and urged all parties to take effective action to enable all civilians to safely leave areas affected by conflict. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / BACHELET GLOBAL UPDATE
TRT: 3:09
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

08 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I wish to further update the Council regarding Ukraine. Since the Council's urgent debate, the number of civilian casualties has continued to grow. I am deeply concerned about civilians trapped in active hostilities in numerous areas, and I urge all parties to take effective action to enable all civilians – including those in situations of vulnerability – to safely leave areas affected by conflict. The Office has received reports of arbitrary detentions of pro-Ukrainian activists in areas that have recently come under the control of armed groups in the east of the country,. We have also received reports of beatings of people considered to be pro-Russian in Government controlled territories. I repeat my urgent call for a peaceful end to hostilities.”

RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

08 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“In the Russian Federation, the space for discussion or criticism of public policies – including its military action against Ukraine – is increasingly and profoundly restricted. Some 12,700 people have been arbitrarily arrested for holding peaceful, anti-war protests, and media are being required to use only official information and terms. I remain concerned about the use of repressive legislation that impedes the exercise of civil and political rights and criminalizing non-violent behaviour. Vague and overly broad definitions – for example, of extremism or incitement to hatred – have led to legal interpretations that are not in line with Russia's human rights obligations. Further legislation criminalising circumstances of "discrediting" the armed forces continues down this concerning path. Fundamental freedoms and the work of human rights defenders continue to be undermined by widespread use of the 2012 so-called 'foreign agent' law, as evidenced by the judicial closure of two organisations set up by the widely respected civil society group Memorial.”

RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

5.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

08 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“In China, I remain concerned about the treatment of individuals who speak up on human rights issues that are deemed critical of the policies of the authorities at the local or national level- some of whom have faced restrictions on their freedom of movement, including house arrest, or in some cases have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment based on criminal charges stemming from their activities. My office has raised a number of such cases with the Government and encourage the authorities to take steps to ensure that freedom of expression and opinion are fully respected and protected.”

RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

7.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

08 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I am pleased to announce that we have recently reached an agreement with the Government of China for a visit. Hence, my Office and the Government of China have initiated concrete preparations for a visit that is foreseen to take place in May of this year. Preparations will have to take into account COVID-19 regulations. The Government has also accepted the visit of an advanced OHCHR team to prepare my stay in China, including onsite visits to Xinjiang and other places. This team will depart to China next month.”

RECENT – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

9.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

STORYLINE:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed her deep concern about the civilians trapped in active hostilities in numerous areas of Ukraine, and urged all parties to take effective action to enable all civilians to safely leave areas affected by conflict.
Briefing the Human Rights Council today (8 Mar) on several global issues, Bachelet said that since the Council's urgent debate, the number of civilian casualties has continued to grow.

She added her Office has received reports of arbitrary detentions of pro-Ukrainian activists in areas that have recently come under the control of armed groups in the east of the country. She also said, “We have also received reports of beatings of people considered to be pro-Russian in Government controlled territories. I repeat my urgent call for a peaceful end to hostilities.”

Regarding the Russian Federation, the Human Rights chief said the space for discussion or criticism of public policies – including its military action against Ukraine – is increasingly and profoundly restricted.

Bachelet noted that some 12,700 people have been arbitrarily arrested for holding peaceful, anti-war protests, and media are being required to use only official information and terms. She added, “I remain concerned about the use of repressive legislation that impedes the exercise of civil and political rights and criminalizing non-violent behaviour. Vague and overly broad definitions – for example, of extremism or incitement to hatred – have led to legal interpretations that are not in line with Russia's human rights obligations.”

She also said that further legislation criminalising circumstances of "discrediting" the armed forces continues down this concerning path.

The High Commissioner also said that fundamental freedoms and the work of human rights defenders continue to be undermined by widespread use of the 2012 so-called 'foreign agent' law, as evidenced by the judicial closure of two organisations set up by the widely respected civil society group Memorial.

On China, she said , “I remain concerned about the treatment of individuals who speak up on human rights issues that are deemed critical of the policies of the authorities at the local or national level- some of whom have faced restrictions on their freedom of movement, including house arrest, or in some cases have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment based on criminal charges stemming from their activities.”

Bachelet noted her office has raised a number of such cases with the Government and encourage the authorities to take steps to ensure that freedom of expression and opinion are fully respected and protected.

She also told the Human Rights Council, “I am pleased to announce that we have recently reached an agreement with the Government of China for a visit. Hence, my Office and the Government of China have initiated concrete preparations for a visit that is foreseen to take place in May of this year.”

According to the Human Rights Office (OHCHR), preparations will have to take into account COVID-19 regulations. The Government has also accepted the visit of an advanced OHCHR team to prepare the High Commissioner’s stay in China, including onsite visits to Xinjiang and other places. The team is expected to depart to China next month.

The Human Rights High Commissioner update to the Council today included a number of critical situations that call for urgent measures. As a general rule, this update does not include more detailed remarks on the following situations, which are the subject of separate discussions during this session: Afghanistan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cyprus, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Honduras, Myanmar, Nicaragua, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Ukraine and Venezuela.
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