The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 12/2, in which the Council invited the Secretary-General to submit a report to it at its fourteenth session, and annually thereafter, in accordance with its programme of work, containing a compilation and analysis of any available information, from all appropriate sources, on alleged reprisals against the persons referred to in paragraph 1 of the resolution, as well as recommendations on how to address the issues of intimidation and reprisals.
The persons referred to in the resolution are those who:
(a) Seek to cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, or who have provided testimony or information to them;
(b) Avail or have availed themselves of procedures established under the auspices of the United Nations for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and all those who have provided legal or other assistance to them for this purpose;
(c) Submit or have submitted communications under procedures established by human rights instruments, and all those who have provided legal or other assistance to them for this purpose;
(d) Are relatives of victims of human rights violations or of those who have provided legal or other assistance to victims.
The introduction illustrates the importance of cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights by citing a number of key United Nations documents in this regard.
Chapter II of the report contains information gathered during the period under review, including concerning communications sent to States by representatives of various human rights mechanisms. The replies of States to such communications received by 19 March 2010 have also been included. In this chapter the Secretary-General provides an account of situations in which persons have reportedly been intimidated or suffered reprisals for having cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights; for having availed themselves of international procedures; for having provided legal assistance for this purpose; and/or as relatives of victims of human rights violations. It should be noted that, in some instances, it has not been possible to record in this report additional cases due to specific security concerns or because the individuals exposed to reprisals have explicitly requested that their cases not be raised publicly.
Chapter III provides concluding remarks. The report underlines the continued gravity of intimidation and reprisals as victims suffer violations of many human rights. The seriousness of reported acts of reprisal reinforces the need for the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights in cooperation with States to continue to take urgent steps to help prevent such acts and ensure that they are not treated with impunity. It is imperative that all acts of intimidation and reprisals are promptly and effectively prosecuted and addressed in an appropriate manner. Perpetrators should be brought to justice and victims provided with appropriate remedies in order to combat impunity. Denouncing such acts publicly and reporting them to the appropriate human rights mechanisms will also contribute to combating related impunity.