ODVV Statements at27th Session of the Human Rights Council

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ODVV Statements at27th Session of the Human Rights Council

Item 3: : Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, politicaleconomic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Mr. President,

The illegality of economic sanctions in international humanitarian and human rights law has been established by various UN agencies` reports, since the mid 1990`s. The death and misery of millions, whatever the statistics, has been documented and brought to the attention of the world as well as this chamber, on many occasions. In case of Iran, almost every Human Rights of the nations of the targeted state has been violated. The Iranian people in particular, have been taking the brunt of the most devastating and comprehensive economic sanctions that have been imposed on any nation in recent memory.

Access to medicine is an integral component of the right to health, as enunciated under article 12 of the ICESCR.

The HRC Report[i] , reiterates that “States have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health, including access to medicine”. The Council cannot expect the state of Iran to fulfil this obligation, or indeed any other human rights obligations – because of their interrelation- when it has been deprived of its human rights in all these fields, particularly the right to development. We appreciate the work of the Council in its attempt to establish a mechanism to hold the sanction imposing states to account, but unfortunately such measures are too little and too late for the millions of Iranians who have their health and well-being severely compromised. If these are the intended aims of the economic sanctions, then it would be against every principle that this Council is trying to promote and protect. Therefore it is right and proper that the Council call for an immediate cessation to these unjust sanctions.

ODVV recommends that the next regular session of this Council - March 2015- includes a half day panel of discussion on prevention of human rights violations through economic sanctions.

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Item 4: Human Rights Situations that Require the Council's AttentionMr. President,
Today in the Middle East region we are witnessing tragic conditions where occupation and aggression are deemed legitimate and millions of humans are made to leave their homes, furthermore many are struggling with poverty, war and ignorance.

In Syria and Iraq ISIS committed and continues to commit barbaric killings of the Shia, Sunni, Christian and Yezidi, in the name of the “implementation of Islamic Sharia”.

Mr. President,
Is the issuing of UN Security Council resolution 2170 against the ISIS terrorist group and putting six of its members under sanction, after three years of crimes committed against humanity enough?
Why the resolution, adopted under Article 8 of the UN Charter, does not contain enough resolve and necessary prevention against the actions of these terrorists?
What is will happen to the countries that financially support the terrorist group?

While expressing happiness for the approval of Resolution 2170, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) deems ISIS actions as equal to the definition of genocide stated in the Article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and calls for effective actions being taken including the referral of ISIS leaders to ICC.

The ODVV stresses that NGOs networks and intellectuals must fulfill their professional responsibilities to stop the actions of ISIS and its supporters and recommends active international cooperation with the role playing of the OIC and the UN and regional governments, to prevent these actions which are weakening the image of Islam and will undermine peace and justice among nations, religions and cultures.

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Item 5: Human rights bodies and mechanismsMr. President,

The HRC advisory committee is composed of experts of the highest personal and intellectual integrity. Their reports and expertise has enhanced the work of this Council. As think tank of the Council and pursuant to paragraph 77 of the HRC Resolution 5/1, their suggestions for enhancing the procedural efficiency and proposals of topics, carry tremendous weight.

Unfortunately the Council can, without giving any reason or proper consideration, set aside their suggested topics with no mechanism that requires it to give its due attention.

We believe that a mechanism should be constituted so that proposals from the advisory committee are properly studied and evaluated. And in the event of rejection of such a proposal, a reason for the rejection is given. We support the re-submission of the previously suggested proposals by the committee, particularly the one on the possibility of establishing a universal human rights court. Considering the support that such a proposal enjoyed from many delegates during adoption of the pertinent resolutions, as well as by many experts during the numerous workshops, we think that the Council should give it its most careful consideration. We also support the new proposals submitted for further exploration, specially on the impact of settler colonialism on human rights.

The advisory committee at its Aug. 2014session, decided to institutionalize the meetings between the committee and the NGO’s. We welcome this gesture of cooperation and believe it will enhance the greater participation and input from the grassroots. As the committee has no mandate to go to the field, the first hand experience of some specialized NGO’s can constitute a valuable contribution to the better understandings of the issues. We ask the council to recommend such an approach to all relevant agencies.

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Item 6: Universal Periodic ReviewMr. President,
From the 26th Session to date important and painful developments have taken place with regards to human rights in the world. The spilling violence out of Syria to neighboring countries, like Iraq and Lebanon, the huge pain and suffering of the Shia, Sunni, Yezidi, Christian and Turkmen because of the prejudice of extremists groups in Iraq, the two month old tragedy in Gaza and the killing and injuring of thousands of civilians, Palestinian women, children and the elderly in particular, and dozens of other violations, all show that there is still a very big gap between speaking of the observation of human rights and actually practicing it.

Mr. President,
The second round of the UPR will come to an end in two year’s time, and until then all UN member states will have had their human rights situations evaluated and monitored twice. We believe the UPR is one of the most important accomplishments for promotion of human rights around the world, how it continues and its continuous function must be seen over a period of time, however, the increasing trend of violence and killings of people, shows that new changes and initiatives are needed.

Mr. President,
We welcome the two recent special sessions of the Council on the violation of human rights in Gaza and Iraq. If the recommendations of the reports of the investigation commissions for the two sessions are put into practice by the Council and if in the UPR process, the most recommending countries can themselves be role models in observing human rights at international level, the reputation of both the UPR and the Human Rights Council will increase.
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Item 6: Qatar UPRMr. President,
For years now by trying to increase its soft power, Qatar wants to have a greater expanse of influence in the region. Nevertheless it has always had two problems in the way: the terrible conditions of migrant workers, and its approach to terrorist groups.

Regarding the first issue, in one of the richest countries of the world, workers should proportionately be living in better working and living conditions and enjoy the highest level of life standards. But unfortunately this is not the case in Qatar, and despite Qatar’s commitments made in the first UPR regarding the improvement of workers’ living conditions, there are still some going concerns regarding migrant workers, also serious concerns such as, the exploitative “Kafala” sponsorship system, lack of freedom of association, right to form unions, confiscation of passports and harmful working and housing conditions, all of which must be rectified.

Mr. President,
Tracking the financial backing of terror groups is not a difficult task. Certainly, western countries who on the smallest of pretexts monitor the financial transactions of a country and increasingly add more individuals and companies to the list of violators of sanctions, can and know where and how the financial backing of terror groups such as ISIS come from, especially now that is the third year of Syria crisis.
The Qatari government must create an accurate mechanism in order to stop any form of backing of terror groups, particularly those in Iraq that continue to slaughter Shia, Sunnis, Christians, Yezidis, Alawites, Turkmens and Kurds, whether this support is coming from private citizens or institutions as the Qatari government claims or any source.


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Item 7: Violation of Human Rights in Occupied TerritoriesIsrael playing with terms to circumvent international law
Mr. President,

After establishment of Israel in 1948 we witnessed some "distortions" of the meaning of some internationally recognized human rights violations such as "war crimes" and "assassination". On 21 July 2014 , Navi Pillay, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized Israel's military operation stating that there was "a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes". Also on 23 July 2014 the UN Human Rights Council announced it is starting an investigation into accusations of war crimes in Gaza. But Israeli officials classify their crimes under justified terms such as "counter terrorism" or "Self-defense "and playing with the meaning of "Assassination". Israeli officials used "Targeted killing" instead of "Assassination" to change the concept and circumvent international law.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention (ratified by Israel in 1951), extrajudicial killings constitute "grave breaches" of human rights and are subject to international investigations. While In 2006, Israel's Supreme Court rejected a petition to declare targeted killings illegal, the court recognized that some killings violated international law, but the legality of individual operations must be assessed on a "case by case basis". The decision also said that "Innocent civilians should not be targeted "and "Intelligence on the (targeted) person's identity must be carefully verified." The court also allowed for the possibility of compensation claims from civilians. While, the U.N.[ii] recently reported that 69 percent of the total killed in Gaza 51- day war were civilians.

Mr. President
Our NGO is worried about the ambiguity in using certain terms to the crimes delivered by Israel against Palestine people. We hope to witness a decisive report on IDF war crimes and we also hope that the right of the 70 % civilian casualties are fully observed and compensated.

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Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance
Mr. President:

Extremist, terrorist groups have been igniting deadly conflicts especially in the Middle East for years and have recently been attacking civilians in Syria and Iraq. The terrorists exploit religion through selective reading and interpretation, to justify the killing of civilians. They believe that anyone who disagrees with them is "infidel", and killing of all infidels including women and children is allowed.

While the ISIS bombing attacks have left many people dead and injured, there are regrettable news indicating that the terrorists receive financial, technical and political support from some countries.

ISIS attacks escalated during 2013. However, the US, decided to react only recently and bombarded ISIS installations in 2014. This is while the terrorists have been killing civilians for over a year.

The existing evidence shows that the western world and its allies are playing a dual role: supporting terrorist extremist groups and, fighting against them in some occasions.

The direct result of straightening and supporting such groups is a contribution to human right violations which is condemned by the western world. Human right violations of the terrorist groups is done in the name of Islam, which leads to a growing feeling of xenophobia toward Muslims and in part can justify discrimination against them and violation of their rights.

The Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) calls on all UN member States to condemn sectarian violence and regional conflicts, done in the name of religion and seriously avoid supporting these groups. ODVV also calls on all member States to cooperate to replace a culture of hatred and conflict with a culture of negotiations. ODVV calls on the UN to use more effective measures to prevent sectarian violence and mass killings of civilians.
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Item 3: PANEL ON THE ROLE OF PREVENTION IN THEPROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Mr. President,
Sometimes there is great urgency in concentration on some human rights violations such as prevention of killings, crimes and destruction. But at the same time it must be noted that the roots of most violence cases are in the lack of suitable education or extreme poverty. A lot of the recruiting done by terrorist groups target the vulnerable sectors of society. Perhaps it is here that the unity, universality and indivisibility of human rights finds its true meaning.

Mr. President,
Enhancing and developing good governance, democratic systems, the rule of law and accountability, are the fundamental principles based on which, prevention can take place. But at international level, when a number of countries that claim to support human rights, offer military or financial support to terrorists and specifically extremist groups, these wrong policies will result in violation of the fundamental rights of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon by terrorist groups.
Emergence and growth of violent groups is an alarm bell which ensures the importance of Promotion, Protection and Prevention as a 3P key for the improvement of human rights at international level. In addition, it is necessary for regional countries to put further thought while policy setting particularly for regional interventions.

Mr. President,
While supporting all efforts and conclusions of this panel, our NGO suggest a scientific research by the Advisory Committee of the Council regarding the prioritization of education, enhancing tolerance and a practical approach to prevent the extensive violation of human rights during the recent conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and particularly Iraq.
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Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, “Panel on the right to privacy in the digital age”Mr. President
The adoption of right of privacyin the 54th meeting of Human Rights Council was an auspicious initiative for addressing human needs in the digital age. Promotion and protection of the right to privacy in the digital agereaffirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, including the right to privacy and freedom of expression.
Today, privacy as a fundamental right is threatened by Technology, Governments and Corporations. Hidden cameras, listening devices, monitoring of phone calls and computer use, video surveillance, and similar data gathering techniques are particularly inimical to the aforementioned rights. Governments should acknowledge digital privacy regardingtheir own people and citizens of other governments. The illegal eavesdropping to telephone and email conversations of presidents of Mexico, Braziland German Chancellor by USA has provoked fear and distrust regarding digital privacy across the world society.
ODVV reminds the respectful members that the governance of Internet Network should be taken as a collective actionin an international level to protect the interests of all countries. World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, and Berne Convention are august examples of cooperation of governments in protecting collective interests and could be used to address the needs of digital networks.Internet networkactivitiesunder a worldwide supervision aremore favorable and trustworthyfor the world community than working under a USA national network.
While emphasizing ondigital privacy rights, ODVV invites the members to update their national law and legal instruments to improve digital privacy of their citizens and to promote development of technology to safeguard privacyat the national level and worldwide.
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Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rightsPanel on the Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft or Armed Drones in Counter-Terrorism and Military Operations
(HRC Resolution 25/22)


Armed drones have been increasingly used as a means for targeted killings in recent years. A targeted killing in military operations is the use of lethal force against a selected human being who is not in the physical custody of the targeting entity, with the intent and deliberation to kill.

Targeted killings cannot be considered legal, because the killing of an individual human being can never be considered as the only goal of a military operation. According to Article 6 of ICCPR every human being has the inherent right to life and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. According to International Law killing can only be considered legal when it can prevent a threat to the life of other people, only on the condition that the threat can be prevented by no other means.

According to international lawyers, drone killings may be lawful in the context of authorized armed conflict, however, the use of drones “far from the battle zone” is highly questionable legally. And “Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of drones for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal.”

An illegal killing can be considered as a violation of the “right to life”, the widespread killing of civilians in drone strikes may well constitute war crimes.

Expressing serious concerns over the increasing use of drone attacks, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) condemns drone attacks on vulnerable civilians and calls on the Human Right Council to adopt more effective accountability mechanisms for human right violations using armed drones, considering the regrettable impunity of those who remotely control the drones and commit targeted killing of civilians.
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Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights

PANEL ON THE PROTECTION OF THE FAMILY AND ITS MEMBERS Mr. President,

According to HRC resolution for this panel family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children and, for the full development of their personality. The States’ responsibility is to support the family and enabling it to fully assume its responsibilities.

According to the results of recent researches, one of the challenges of modern societies is “the decoupling” of marriage and the fact that many children, for example about half of the American children[iii], are born from mothers who are not married. The reason is that young adults consider marriage and child bearing as two different issues. According to the findings of recent researches in some modern societies, married couples are not in majority and married couples with children represent a minority of the whole population.

Apparently, a number of factors such as paying too much attention to people’s individual development, and emergence of new and strange definitions of “family”, have negative effects on the family unit and will continue to have harmful effects to the well-being of children.

The experts of the field view family instability as one of the most serious risks to children’s wellbeing. About 40 percent of cohabitating couples who have children end their relationship within 5 years. This is while research clearly demonstrates that children growing up with two continuously married parents are less likely than other children to experience cognitive, emotional, and social problems, both in childhood and adulthood.

Expressing its thanks to the Human Right Council for adopting the resolution on family protection, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) calls on member States to try to make policy interventions that increase the number of children growing up in families with two continuously married couples in order to contribute to the wellbeing of the next generation.
[1] http://twentysomethingmarriage.org/the-great-crossover/; http://cnsnews.com/news/article/new-report-48-percent-first-children-born-unwed-mothers

“ ODVV Statements at27th Session of the Human Rights Council ”