ODVV Statements at25th Session of the Human Rights Council

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ODVV Statements at25th Session of the Human Rights Council

Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political,economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
General Debate
Mr. President
Imposing unilateral coercive measures and their impacts on human rights, has drawn the attention of UN Member States, human rights bodies and mechanisms including Special Procedures, academics and civil society organizations.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action calls upon States to “refrain from any unilateral measure that impede the full realization of human rights, in particular the rights of everyone to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, including food and medical care, housing and the necessary social services.”
According to a resolution adopted by The Third Committee of the General Assembly on 21 November 2013, the General Assembly is to urge all States to cease the adoption or implementation of unilateral measures not in accordance with international laws.
In its resolution 66/156, the General Assembly requested the Secretary General to collect the views of all Member States on the negative effects of unilateral coercive measures on their populations.
Many member states strongly believe that the measures are contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and therefore constitute a flagrant violation of the international laws.
The sanctions imposed on the Iranian people have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine.They violate human rights including the rights to life and independence, sovereignty and the right to development.
Sanctions often cause significant disruption in the distribution of food and medicine, jeopardized the availability of clean drinking water, interfere with the functioning of basic health and education systems.
Condemning the inhuman sanctions, ODVV recommends the Human Right Council on actions aimed at ending such measures, that violate human rights and undermine the aims of this council to promote human rights.
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Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council's attentionID with SR on Iran
Mr. President,
The coincidence of the ratification of first and second generations of human rights treaties shows its equal importance for the international community. The third generation also confirms that lack of a balanced right to development, right to enjoyment of a healthy environment, and right to peace destroy the basis for the expansion of other rights.
Although there is a lot of concentration on the first generation of human rights in Mr. Shaheed's report, but attention to the other two generations is very little. We are also in the same belief as the Special Rapporteur that the Iranian government must take further steps towards improvement of human rights; but at the same time we believe the report has not dealt with subjects the extensive violations of which have affected a vast number of people.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, a large number of patients have died over the recent years solely due to untargeted unilateral and unjustified sanctions. That is proportionately higher than the total statistics which has mentioned in Dr. Shaheed’s report regarding the violation of the civil and political rights of the Iranian people. The way in which Special Rapporteur deals with the subject of sanctions, unfortunately are not in proportion with the sheer volume of negative consequences on the Iranians.
If Dr. Shaheed who travelled to European counties, the United States and Canada to hear about the human rights violations claims by expatriates Iranians, had at least put a questionnaire on his website and called for the participation of individuals and NGOs inside Iran in reflecting the problems caused by sanctions in daily lives and right to life, health, education and decent living for Iranian citizens, with certainty this report would have been a more balanced narrative of the real meaning of human rights for the people of Iran.
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Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council's attention.General Debate
Mr. President,
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to religion and belief is a fundamental right. This is while Shia minorities in many countries are not only deprived of their rights, but also they are faced with numerous problems and abuses.
For example, in Saudi Arabia, the Shia minority have continuously been under pressure and deprived of their fundamental rights. They suffer from discrimination both in law and practice, are prevented from publicly holding their religious customs and rituals, and cannot demand political participation in the country.
In Bahrain, Shia are the majority, but politically they are deemed a minority.The government prevents the Shia from any political activities. Over the years, whenever the Shia have tried to remove the existing discrimination through peaceful and legitimate moves, they are strongly cracked down.
In Pakistan, at least 320 Shia minorities have been killed through targeted attacks in 2013 and this trends continues unabated.
In Malaysia the Shia minority are prevented from freely holding their religious rituals and customs, in such an extent that 200 members of the Shia community were arrested while holding their religious rituals and unfairly tried and sentenced.
The abovementioned is only fleeting glance at the violation of the Shia minorities around the world which demands the attention of international organizations.
Mr. President,
International mechanisms designed to protect minorities rights have seen a lot of improvements. This NGO welcomes the efforts made by the Special Rapporetur on Minorities, and calls for other Human Rights Council mandate holders such as the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, peaceful assemblies, freedom of religion and belief, to seriously pursue the rights of Shia minorities around the world.
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Item5: Human Rights Bodies and MechanismsGeneral Debate
Mr. President
According to human rights, religious and cultural freedoms must be respected and article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a confirmation of this claim. The rights of different religious minority groups are particularly linked to equality and elimination of discrimination. In other words the logic of the minorities rights (including religious) can be seen as the guarantee of the protection of the right to life and freedom without any form of discrimination, and the free expression of beliefs and full enjoyment of civil and political rights.
In spite of the existence of such determinations at the international level, today, we witness not only the violation of the identity of the rights of the Shia minority in the world, but most Shia minorities are faced with grave violations of their fundamental rights such as the right to life.
Violence against Shia minorities in Islamic countries take place with propaganda campaigns on the ideological differences and the highlighting of religious differences by extremist groups, and with the fatwas of extremist religious leaders, such as encouraging the killing of Shia minorities, enslaving Shia women, imposing restrictions on the Shia minorities education, are all escalating, the results of which is not only the massacre and violation of the rights of the Shia community and prevention of activities related to their religious identity in many Muslim countries in Asia and the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt and other countries, but also the beginning of extremist and terrorist activities.
Our NGO believes that with the elimination of existing problems and disputes regarding the protection of religious minorities, particularly Shia minorities around the world, also the defence of the belief of individuals and respect of differences in thought, great steps can be taken towards the reduction of potential damages from violence against Shia minorities, and also the rising phobias towards different religions and beliefs around the world.
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Item 6: Universal Periodic Review.General Debate
Mr. President
Alongside many positive characteristics of the UPR ,there are some weak points which undermine its objectives. Those are as follows:
1. Many countries use a selective method for mentioning the human right issues of the country under review.
2. The number of recommendations in the UPR sessions is gravely increasing. This can put quantity ahead of quality. Also, repetition of a recommendation by several States, reduces the opportunity for an all sided review of the target country.
3.Rejection of recommendations is also a weak point because a number of recommendations which can make fundamental changes in human rights mandate of the countries are rejected by them.
4. To-date no suitable mechanisms have been considered regarding assessment of the implementation of the recommendations.
5. Finally, a number of countries where the human rights situations are crucial, do not have much political will to participate in UPR which weakens the UPR mechanism.
For example Israel’s initial refusal to participate in the second round of the UPR was a hefty blow to the universality and non-selectivity and accountability of the other states to this mechanism. Israel’s disregard of UPR cannot be easily overlooked.
This Organization believes that the Council must set a penalty for these sorts of actions so that countries get deterred to do similar things.
Ultimately we believe that it is the time to deal with the weak points of UPR mechanism.
My NGO hopes that the lessons learned from the first round of the UPR, alongside with the will of states for distancing from politicizing the mechanism, create the opportunity for real improvement of human rights in the second cycle.
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Item 6: Universal Periodic Review.Saudi Arabia
Mr. President
Unfortunately, there has been systematic discrimination and hostility against religious minorities especially Shia citizens by the Kingdom in Saudi Arabia. Shia minorities are banned from performing their religious rituals and are criminalized if they do so.
According to religious provisions of public courts, Shia are not given the right to make an appeal. Also, the Shia face serious restrictions for job opportunities and government positions. This is while Saudi accepted UPR recommendations to protect religious minority rights in the first cycle.
The kingdom has ratified a new counter terrorism law that criminalizes any speech critical of the government or any attempts to make reforms or fight against corruption and discrimination. The new law puts more restrictions on the freedom of speech and grants the police force extensive powers for arbitrary arrests of human right activists without being monitored by the judiciary.
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) expresses serious concerns over suppression and restriction of religious minorities especially the Shia by Saudi as a member of The United Nations. ODVV calls on all international human right organizations to react toward the violence against the Shia minority and political prisoners.
ODVV also calls on Saudi to investigate the methods of eliminating discrimination against the Shia minority and to promote and protect interfaith dialogue.
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Item 6: Universal Periodic Review.Malaysia
Mr. President
Malaysia accepted the recommendations pointing to protection of religious minority rights in UPR first cycle. Also, the country is committed to protect minority rights according to Charter of Human Rights; Declaration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Islamabad Declaration. But Malaysia has put the Shia minority under severe pressure, increasing cases of arbitrary arrest and long imprisonments without due procedure.
On September 10, 2013 Malaysian Government arrested and tried 4 Shia minorities in PerakProvince. Also, on September 28, 2013 police raided a Shia center in Selangor, seizing personal belongings and the money raised for charity and orphan children. According to the prime Minister's office, 16 people were detained and more than 120 were inspected during September.
The discrimination has increased to a point that even foreign Shia students and businessmen living in Malaysia, especially Iranians and Iraqis are suffering from the situation.
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) expresses serious concerns over the increase of arbitrary arrests of religious minorities in Malaysia. ODVV calls on Malaysian Government to fulfill its international and regional commitments and ratify laws to eliminate all forms of discrimination against religious minorities. ODVV also calls on human right organizations to adopt measures to eliminate discrimination against religious minorities.
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Item 7- Violation of human rights in occupied territoriesGeneral Debate
Mr. President
The city of Beit-ul-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) is one of the most historical and holiest places respected by all Abrahamic religions like Christian, jews and especially Muslims. The holy Al-Aqsa mosque has been witness to numerous rounds of destructions and desecrations especially since the occupation of the mosque by the Israel forces in recent years.
In 1980, Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel".This declaration was determined to be "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.
Some of the other main violations of Israel in Beit-ul-Moqaddas are as follows:
Economy: UNCTAD report In May 2013, criticized the Israeli occupation for neglect and economic isolation of the non-Jewish communities in the area. It highlighted a 77% in the number of households living below the poverty line in non-Jewish households.

Housing: According to a UN report in 25 Sep 2013, during the first half of 2013 there were 1,277 ‘building starts’ of housing units in West Bank settlements, excluding East Jerusalem which is 110 percent increase compared to the equivalent period in 2012 and a record high for the past seven years.
The establishment and expansion of settlements violates the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.
HealthService: 25 mother-and-baby medical centres exist in West Beit-ul-Moqaddas compared to only 4 in East Beit-ul-Moqaddas; 80%-85% of the adults and 90% of the minors in need of health services do not receive needed support.

Mr. President
Our NGO rejects the U.S new plan of replacing international forces instead of Jordan for controlling of Eastern Beit-ul-Moqaddas. Instead, we recommend the Mandate of an Islamic countries union on Eastern Beit-ul-Moqaddas by the presidential of Palestine.
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Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related

forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the DurbanDeclaration and Programme of Action.
General Debate
Mr. President
Cultural diversity is based on the differences of individuals in ethnicity and religion. Lack of respect for this diversity can be the basis of discrimination, injustice and promotion of xenophobia. We believe that recognition for cultural diversity of Muslim minorities can play a constructive role in elimination of xenophobia which is an obstacle in the way of development, threatens peace, security and human rights.
What we witness today being committed against Muslim minorities is based on Islamophobia and xenophibia. In some countries Hijab is banned, and in most societies Muslims are still demanding to have a representative in legislative bodies.
We believe that adoption of preventive, even strict measures by member states of international community towards islamophobia, is effective in the fight against the growth of xenophobia. Therefore we offer the following recommendations:
1 –Religious discrimination must be deemed unlawful just as racial discrimination.
2 – Social services and employers must provide necessary facilities for Muslims to be able to conduct their religious duties at work place. Awareness should be raised on instances that might hurt the feelings of Muslims.
3 – At schools, Attention must be paid to religious and cultural needs of students.
4 – Schools staff, services centers and employers must be fully aware of the importance of Islamic clothing for Muslim girl and women students.
5 – The mass media should be provided with necessary guidelines and education on how to prepare and publish reports and news regarding religious minorities and Muslims.
6 – Policy makers and authorities must introduce Islamophobia as unlawful and contrary to human rights.

“ ODVV Statements at25th Session of the Human Rights Council ”