OHCHR / REPRISALS REPORT

12-Sep-2018 00:02:18
A new report by the Secretary-General found that people around the world face harsh reprisals and intimidation for cooperating with the United Nations on human rights, deterring others from engaging with the Organization. OHCHR / FILE
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STORY: OHCHR / REPRISALS REPORT
TRT: 02:21
SOURCE: OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT EPA PHOTOS AND AFP PHOTOS ON THE SCREEN

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – AFP photo

1. Still photo - AFP photo

11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2.SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“This growing trend of intimidation and reprisals against civil society and human rights defenders, who cooperate with the UN, is a very alarming one. In my view, it is designed to deter members of civil society from actually cooperating with the UN and that is certainly the effect.”

FILE – AFP photo

3. Still photo - AFP photo

11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights: “It is regrettably a global phenomenon and although, I mentioned that 38 countries are specified in the report, this is just a tip of the iceberg, far more cases of intimidation and reprisals are taking place but we have not included them in the report – for a number of reasons. One of which is that we have to operate on the basis of do no harm and we need the consent of the victims.”

FILE – AFP photo

5. Still photo

11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“There are many ways that governments seek to intimidate or carry out reprisals against their citizens who have worked with the UN. They can be rather minor ones, they can be, perhaps just a warning telephone call or it can be preventing travel, either for a short time or for long term travel ban. It can be the denial of medical assistance and in one or two cases, we have seen sexual assault, torture, imprisonment and even death in some cases.”

FILE - EPA photo

6.Still photo


11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Although we are an intergovernmental body we rely in many areas, whether it is peace keeping, peacemaking, development, human rights, humanitarian assistance, we need civil society and we need the voices of civil society to understand what is properly going on in countries where we are most active.”


FILE - EPA photo

8. Still photo

11 SEPTEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“In terms of the cases that we have received information about, the great majority of them are state actors, either members of the security forces or police, army or other forms of the government.”

FILE - EPA photo

10. Still photo
STORYLINE
A new report by the Secretary-General has found that people around the world face harsh reprisals and intimidation for cooperating with the United Nations on human rights, deterring others from engaging with the Organization.

The report – the ninth of its kind – notes allegations of killing; torture and ill-treatment; arbitrary arrests and detention; surveillance; criminalization; and public stigmatisation campaigns targeting victims and human rights defenders.

It lists over 38 countries allegedly targeting those who try to cooperate with the UN in the field of human rights.

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“This growing trend of intimidation and reprisals against civil society and human rights defenders, who cooperate with the UN, is a very alarming one. In my view, it is designed to deter members of civil society from actually cooperating with the UN and that is certainly the effect.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“It is regrettably a global phenomenon and although, I mentioned that 38 countries are specified in the report, this is just a tip of the iceberg, far more cases of intimidation and reprisals are taking place but we have not included them in the report – for a number of reasons. One of which is that we have to operate on the basis of do no harm and we need the consent of the victims.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“In terms of the cases that we have received information about, the great majority of them are state actors, either members of the security forces or police, army or other forms of the government.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“There are many ways that governments seek to intimidate or carry out reprisals against their citizens who have worked with the UN. They can be rather minor ones, they can bem, perhaps just a warning telephone call or it can be preventing travel, either for a short time or for long term travel ban. It can be the denial of medical assistance and in one or two cases, we have seen sexual assault, torture, imprisonment and even death in some cases.”

While State actors are listed in the report as key perpetrators of intimidation and reprisals, the report also cites that non-state actors are also to blame.

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew Gilmour, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Although we are an intergovernmental body we rely in many areas, whether it is peace keeping, peacemaking, development, human rights, humanitarian assistance, we need civil society and we need the voices of civil society to understand what is properly going on in countries where we are most active.”

The wide scope of reprisals inhibits the UN’s work in many ways, including in conflict settings, when delivering humanitarian assistance or in protecting civilians, and in the development context, where community members who engage on land and resource-related projects frequently encounter a hostile environment.

The report calls on States to follow up on the cases included in the present and previous reports and provide substantive responses.

The report urges on States to prevent reprisals and to address them when they occur, including by responding to allegations and following up on the cases included in the present and previous reports. It also calls on the UN system to remain vigilant and to report any cases and ensure positive action by the Organization.

The report will be presented to the Human Rights Council on 19 September 2018.
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