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8 April 2002
UNITED NATIONS
Press Release
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS BEGINS DEBATE ON QUESTION OF VIOLATIONS
OF HUMAN RIGHTS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

Commission on Human Rights
58th session
8 April 2002
Morning

High Level Officials of Libya, German Parliament, and Pakistan Deliver Addresses


The Commission on Human Rights began its debate this morning of alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world -- annually among its most contentious agenda items -- and heard allegations of abuses in numerous countries and regions along with charges that developing countries were unfairly singled out for such criticism by the Commission.

National delegations expressed concern over human rights situations in Myanmar, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, parts of South Eastern Europe, Iran, Iraq, occupied Palestine, Chechnya, the Balkans, Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Viet Nam, Cuba, Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, the United States, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, "occupied" Azerbaijan, and Cyprus.

[...]

Attiya Inayatullah, Minister for Women's Development, Social Welfare and Special Education of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the OIC had condemned the terrorist attacks of 11 September and had stressed that these acts were contrary to the tolerant message of Islam. But the OIC rejected attempts at creating any linkage between Islam and terrorist acts, the Minister said; it rejected the targeting of any Islamic or Arab State under the pretext of fighting terrorism; and it was gravely concerned over the recent full-scale invasion and reoccupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli defense forces.

[...]

Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world

Under this agenda item the Commission has before it a series of documents.

[...]

And there is a report of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation of Lebanese detainees in Israel (E/CN.4/2002/34) stating that the Commission's 2001 resolution on the subject was brought to the attention of the Government of Israel, as requested, and that no reply was received from Israel.

Statements

ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMED SHALGAM, Secretary of the General People's Committee for External Liaisons and International Cooperation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, ...

[...]

Libya strongly condemned terrorism, but still believed the most effective way to fight terrorism was to agree on a single definition of terrorism, so as to track its root causes and determine effective methods of response. Libya strongly rejected attempts in some circles to associate terrorism with Islam and Arabs. It categorically refused the characterization of people's struggle for independence as terrorism. Was it possible to describe those Palestinians who were defending their land and their honour as terrorists? Was it not true that the real terrorists were those who usurped the land of Palestine, displaced its people and subjected them to the worst forms of punishment and torture?

[...]

ATTIYA INAYATULLAH, Minister for Women's Development, Social Welfare and Special Education of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the members of the Conference in Doha, Qatar, they had strongly condemned the terrorist attacks of 11 September and underscored the necessity of cracking down on the perpetrators. OIC States had stressed that these acts were contrary to the tolerant message of Islam and had rejected attempts at creating any linkage between Islam and these terrorist acts. They had rejected the targeting of any Islamic or Arab State under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The full-scale invasion and reoccupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli defense forces over the past 18 months, causing over a thousand deaths and wounding many more, had been a source of deep anguish for the Islamic world.

The OIC considered the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories as the principal reason for the deterioration in the situation in the occupied territories and strongly condemned Israel's use of force and its attempts to undermine Palestinian national institutions and elected leadership. The OIC called upon the international community to put an end to Israeli aggression. It called for the full implementation of resolution 425 and the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Lebanese territories including the Shebaa farms. ...

[...]

JOAQUIN PEREZ-VILLANUEVA Y TOVAR (Spain), speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU), said the European Union took action in favour of human rights initiatives at all levels. It was still particularly concerned at situations of human rights in Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Iran, Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian territories, Chechnya, parts of South Eastern Europe, Sudan and Zimbabwe. In Afghanistan, EU welcomed the prospects opened to Afghans in the new political period and would continue to support efforts at reconciliation and reconstruction. The EU was deeply alarmed by the grave deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and had called for the immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement, and destruction. It urged respect for human rights and the rule of law.

[...]

FAYSAL KHABBAZ-HAMOUI (Syria) said that under agenda item 9 there was a long list of developed countries condemning the developing countries. The Western countries were silent concerning the Israeli violations of the rights of Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. A number of Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians were actually detained by Israel; they were denied their basic rights; and Israel continued to violate their right to education. The allegations of human rights abuses made by the European Union were only directed at the developing countries. The flagrant violations of human rights committed by Israel were passed over in silence.

[...]


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