(CIHRS) delivered an oral Intervention during UNHRC 17th Session « ID with SR on Extrajudicial and Summary Executions » | 31/05/2011
United Nations Human Rights Council 17th Session
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Oral Intervention Item 3: ID with SR on Extrajudicial and Summary
Delivered by: Laila Matar
Thank you Mr. President,
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), in cooperation with 12 Arab partner NGOs* , welcomes the timely report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial killings. Widespread instances of extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions carried out by governments throughout the Arab region in response to protests calling for political reform, constitute one of the most brutal and widespread crackdowns on democratic movements in recent history. We ask the Special Rapporteur to urgently address these killings in a report specifically dedicated to this purpose, which would provide the international community with a preliminary analysis of the international legal implications of any alleged extrajudicial killings in these particular situations.
In Libya, Muammar Ghadafi and his government have waged an all out war against its civilians for their participation in peaceful protests. Ensuring timely international justice for those responsible for alleged crimes against humanity in Libya is critical to upholding the basic standards of international humanitarian law.
In Tunisia, 300 civilians are estimated to have been killed during protests. In Egypt, the death toll of protestors exceeds 840. We ask the SR on Extrajudicial killings, in cooperation with mandate holders on the independence of judges and lawyers, arbitrary detention, torture, and freedom of expression, to urgently request a joint visit to both of these countries in order to advice transitional authorities on the proper legal framework, international standards and good practices that must be used to ensure a fair and transparent transitional justice process, which have thus far greatly deviated from international standards.
In the case of Yemen, over 200 people have been killed since February in attacks on peaceful demonstrators by security forces. Yesterday, government and government led militias used deadly force, including live ammunition, against protestors in al Hureya Sqaure in Taiz. Throughout the events that took place last night, initial estimates are at more than 50 killed, two of which were burnt alive, and over hundreds injured.
Authorities in Bahrain are responsible for the killings of at least 31 protestors since February. In addition, four people have died under circumstances that appear to indicate inhumane treatment and torture during detention.
In Syria, the government continues to commit gross and systematic violations against its population, with security forces using live ammunition to kill peaceful protestors. Since the start of protests in March, between 1000 and 1,200 people have been killed by security forces and pro-government assailants.
Such acts may be tantamount to crimes against humanity. As such, this Council should recommend the Security Council to immediately refer the situations in Syria and Yemen, as it did with Libya, to the International Criminal Court for investigation.
Finally, the Human Rights Council can no longer maintain silence in the face of extrajudicial executions and other grave violations in Bahrain and Yemen. These two situations must be urgently dealt with to prevent further rights violations from occurring.
* This statement is supported by the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights, Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (Syria), Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights (Yemen), Hewar Foundation for Democratic Development (Yemen), Yemeni Organization for Human and Democratic Rights, and Social and Democratic Forum (Yemen), Hood organization for Human Rights (Yemen), National organization for human rights (Yemen), Yemeni Center for Civil Rights, Yemeni Center for Human Rights, Yemeni Center for Human Rights Studies, and Yemeni Center for Journalists’ training.