OHCHR / INDIA ESWATINI HUMAN RIGHTS

06-Jul-2021 00:03:28
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Monday said it was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a human rights defender and Jesuit priest, in Mumbai. On the situation in Eswatini, the OHCHR spokesperson said the eruption of violence in the African Kingdom in recent days is “deeply concerning, amid reports that dozens of people have been killed or injured during protests calling for democratic reforms.” UNTV CH
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STORY: OHCHR / INDIA ESWATINI HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 3:28
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 JULY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
06 JULY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shots, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a human rights defender and Jesuit priest, in Mumbai on Monday.”
4. Med shot, journalist
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Father Stan had been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his arrest, charged with terrorism-related offences in relation to demonstrations that date back to 2018. He was a long-standing activist, particularly on the rights of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. While in Mumbai’s Taloja Central Jail, his health deteriorated and he reportedly contracted COVID-19. His repeated applications for bail were rejected. He died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.”
6. Med shot, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In light of the continued, severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more urgent that States, including India, release every person detained without a sufficient legal basis, including those detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views. This would be in line with the Indian judiciary’s calls to decongest the prisons.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We stress, once again, the High Commissioner’s call on the Government of India to ensure that no one is detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association.”
10. Med shot, journalist
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The eruption of violence in the Kingdom of Eswatini in recent days is deeply concerning, amid reports that dozens of people have been killed or injured during protests calling for democratic reforms.”
12. Wide shot, briefing room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We have received allegations of disproportionate and unnecessary use of force, harassment and intimidation by security forces in suppressing last week’s protests, including the use of live ammunition by police. Some protesters were reported to have looted premises, and set buildings and vehicles on fire, and in some areas, they barricaded roads.”
14. Med shot, journalists
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We urge the authorities to fully adhere to human rights principles in restoring calm and the rule of law, in particular the obligation to minimise any use of force in the policing of protests only to that absolutely necessary as measure of last resort. We also call on the Government to ensure that there are prompt, transparent, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations, including those by law enforcement personnel in the context of the demonstrations, and that those responsible are held to account.”
16. Med shot, videographer
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Liz Throssell, Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We urge the Government of Eswatini to open up a longer-term dialogue to air and address the underlying public concerns that have given rise to these recent protests. We remain committed to working with the Government of Eswatini to strengthen human rights promotion and protection, including support and guidance in implementing recommendations by UN human rights mechanisms, including guaranteeing rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly, and to freedom of association, as well as the right of people to participate in the conduct of public affairs.”
18. Wide shot, briefing room
STORYLINE
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) said it was “deeply saddened and disturbed” by the death of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, a human rights defender and Jesuit priest, in Mumbai on Monday.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (06 Jul), OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell said, “Father Stan had been held in pre-trial detention without bail since his arrest, charged with terrorism-related offences in relation to demonstrations that date back to 2018. He was a long-standing activist, particularly on the rights of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. While in Mumbai’s Taloja Central Jail, his health deteriorated and he reportedly contracted COVID-19. His repeated applications for bail were rejected. He died as the Bombay High Court was considering an appeal against the rejection of his bail application.”

Throssell stressed that in light of the continued, severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, “it is even more urgent that States, including India, release every person detained without a sufficient legal basis, including those detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.” She said this would also be in line with the Indian judiciary’s calls to decongest the prisons.

OHCHR stressed its High Commissioner’s call on the Government of India to “ensure that no one is detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association,” Throssell said.

Turning to the situation in Eswatini, the OHCHR spokesperson said the eruption of violence in the African Kingdom in recent days is “deeply concerning, amid reports that dozens of people have been killed or injured during protests calling for democratic reforms.”

Throssell said, “We have received allegations of disproportionate and unnecessary use of force, harassment and intimidation by security forces in suppressing last week’s protests, including the use of live ammunition by police. Some protesters were reported to have looted premises, and set buildings and vehicles on fire, and in some areas, they barricaded roads.”
OHCHR urged the authorities to fully adhere to human rights principles in restoring calm and the rule of law, in particular the obligation to minimise any use of force in the policing of protests “only to that absolutely necessary as measure of last resort,” Throssell said. She added, “We also call on the Government to ensure that there are prompt, transparent, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations, including those by law enforcement personnel in the context of the demonstrations, and that those responsible are held to account.”

OHCHR also urged the Government of Eswatini to open up a longer-term dialogue to air and address the underlying public concerns that have given rise to these recent protests. Throssell said, “We remain committed to working with the Government of Eswatini to strengthen human rights promotion and protection, including support and guidance in implementing recommendations by UN human rights mechanisms, including guaranteeing rights to freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly, and to freedom of association, as well as the right of people to participate in the conduct of public affairs.”
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