OHCHR / CHINA ETHIOPIA

06-Jul-2020 00:04:59
The spokesperson for the Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the Office is in the process of analysing the contents of the new National Security Law adopted this week by the National People’s Congress of China, “looking at this very carefully in terms of its compliance with the international human rights obligations” applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). UNTV CH
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: OHCHR / CHINA ETHIOPIA
TRT: 04:59
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais Wilson


03 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are in the process of analysing the contents of the new National Security Law that was adopted on Wednesday. We are looking at this very carefully in terms of its compliance with the international human rights obligations applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. We are alarmed that arrests are already being made under the law with immediate effect, when there is not full information and understanding of the scope of the offences contained in the law. We note the law’s explicit affirmation that human rights -- in particular fundamental freedoms in article 4, the presumption of innocence and due process rights in article 5, and fair trial rights in article 58 shall be protected and that the provisions in the two International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural rights shall remain protected in Hong Kong as well and that is article 4. We hope these provisions are interpreted in a way that does indeed give full effect to the binding provisions contained in those two key international Covenants. On a preliminary analysis, we are concerned that the definition of some of the offences contained in the law are vague and overly broad. This may lead to discriminatory or arbitrary interpretation and enforcement of the law, which could undermine human rights protection. It is essential that offences created under national security legislation comply with the legality principle, which is enshrined in article 15 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The High Commissioner noted in the press release which she issued on 19 June, such laws should never be used to criminalize conduct and expression that is protected under international human rights law. And so, the UN Human Rights Office will continue to monitor closely ongoing developments. We are also concerned about the provisions governing the offence of “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security” which is contained in article 29 of the news law. This may lead to a restriction of civic space and of the possibility for civil society actors to exercise their right to participate in public affairs. These provisions could also lead to criminalising human rights defenders and activists for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3. Wide shot, exterior Palais Wilson

03 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The killing of Hundessa sparked protests across the country, including in the capital and in Oromia Region itself. While some of the protests were peaceful, a number were violent from the outset. And according to information we have received, roads were reported to be blocked in most parts of Oromia Region and buildings vandalised and burnt, and there have gunfire and bomb explosions in Addis Ababa.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

5. Wide shot, exterior Palais Wilson

03 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We note with concern that the protests following Hundessa’s killing have increasingly taken on an ethnic undertone. We therefore call on everybody, including young people in particular, to stop carrying out ethnically-motivated attacks and to stop inciting to violence, because these acts only serve to exacerbate the underlying tensions.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

7. Wide shot, exterior Palais Wilson

03 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson, Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The shutting down of Internet services is of particular concern as it disproportionately restricts the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and risks further exacerbating tensions. We urge the authorities to restore Internet access without further delay. The authorities have also announced that suspects in Hachalu Hundessa’s murder have been arrested. It is essential that there is a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into his death to ensure those responsible are held accountable. The victims and their families have the right to justice, the truth and reparations. We also stand ready to provide support to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in its investigation of potential human rights violations during these violent events this week.”

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

9. Wide shot, exterior Palais Wilson
STORYLINE
At the United Nations briefing in Geneva on Friday (3 Jul), the spokesperson for the Office of the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the Office is in the process of analysing the contents of the new National Security Law adopted this week by the National People’s Congress of China, “looking at this very carefully in terms of its compliance with the international human rights obligations” applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

The spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said, “we are alarmed that arrests are already being made under the law with immediate effect, when there is not full information and understanding of the scope of the offences contained in the law. We note the law’s explicit affirmation that human rights -- in particular fundamental freedoms in article 4, the presumption of innocence and due process rights in article 5, and fair trial rights in article 58 shall be protected and that the provisions in the two International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural rights shall remain protected in Hong Kong as well and that is article 4. We hope these provisions are interpreted in a way that does indeed give full effect to the binding provisions contained in those two key international Covenants. On a preliminary analysis, we are concerned that the definition of some of the offences contained in the law are vague and overly broad. This may lead to discriminatory or arbitrary interpretation and enforcement of the law, which could undermine human rights protection. It is essential that offences created under national security legislation comply with the legality principle, which is enshrined in article 15 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The High Commissioner noted in the press release which she issued on 19 June, such laws should never be used to criminalize conduct and expression that is protected under international human rights law. And so, the UN Human Rights Office will continue to monitor closely ongoing developments. We are also concerned about the provisions governing the offence of “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security” which is contained in article 29 of the news law. This may lead to a restriction of civic space and of the possibility for civil society actors to exercise their right to participate in public affairs. These provisions could also lead to criminalising human rights defenders and activists for the exercise of their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

Colville also commented on the violent events that erupted this week in Ethiopia after the death of a prominent singer and activist from Oromia Region, Hachalu Hundessa, who was shot and killed in the capital, Addis Ababa on Monday.

Colville said, “the killing of Hundessa sparked protests across the country, including in the capital and in Oromia Region itself. While some of the protests were peaceful, a number were violent from the outset. And according to information we have received, roads were reported to be blocked in most parts of Oromia Region and buildings vandalised and burnt, and there have gunfire and bomb explosions in Addis Ababa.”

The authorities responded to the spread of the protests by shutting down the Internet in Oromia Region, as well as in Addis, making it extremely difficult to verify reports about the number of people killed and injured. According to the Government, around 50 people were killed, while media sources indicated some 80 people had died, including three members of the security forces.

Colville said, “we note with concern that the protests following Hundessa’s killing have increasingly taken on an ethnic undertone. We therefore call on everybody, including young people in particular, to stop carrying out ethnically-motivated attacks and to stop inciting to violence, because these acts only serve to exacerbate the underlying tensions.”

He said, “the shutting down of Internet services is of particular concern as it disproportionately restricts the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression, including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and risks further exacerbating tensions. We urge the authorities to restore Internet access without further delay. The authorities have also announced that suspects in Hachalu Hundessa’s murder have been arrested. It is essential that there is a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into his death to ensure those responsible are held accountable. The victims and their families have the right to justice, the truth and reparations. We also stand ready to provide support to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in its investigation of potential human rights violations during these violent events this week.”

Thirty-five people were reported to have been arrested by security forces on Tuesday evening during a protest over the location of Hundessa’s funeral. According to the police, the protesters, who wanted the singer to be buried in Addis Ababa, unsuccessfully tried to prevent his body being taken to his hometown of Ambo. His funeral went ahead in Ambo on Thursday.
Category
Topical Subjects
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed200706g