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Le Conseil des droits de l'homme débat sur les questions relatives à la lutte antiterroriste et les droits de l'homme des peuples autochtones - Communiqué de presse du CDH (12 décembre 2007) Français
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Source: United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Human Rights Council
12 December 2007



UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DEBATES PROTECTION OF RIGHTS IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

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Human Rights Council
AFTERNOON - 12 December 2007


The Human Rights Council this afternoon held an interactive discussion on reports presented by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Rodolpho Stavenhagen, and by the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin.


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Documents


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The Council has before it the report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin (A/HRC/6/17 and Add.1-4), which contains a summary of the Special Rapporteur's activities from 1 January to 31 October 2007, and in its subsequent chapters highlights and addresses his concern that economic, social and cultural rights have been neglected or underdeveloped in efforts towards the promotion and protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism. In conclusion, the report contains a series of specific recommendations, based on his country visits, as well as a set of general recommendations. Among the latter, the Special Rapporteur encourages States and intergovernmental organizations to utilize fully the potential of promoting economic, social and cultural rights as an inherent feature of long-term sustainable strategies to prevent terrorism; recommends that more attention be paid to the right to education as a key right in the enjoyment of several other human rights and as a cornerstone in sustainable long-term strategies for the prevention of terrorism; and urges States not to apply their counter-terrorism laws and measures to social movements or protest by indigenous peoples or minority communities who claim recognition and full protection for their economic, social and cultural rights.

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A fourth addendum presents the report of the Special Rapporteur's mission to Israel, from 3 to 10 July 2007, and his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Among subjects treated are the state of emergency declared by Israel; legal implications regarding the classification of suspected terrorists as "unlawful combatants"; investigation and prosecution of terrorist suspects, including the legal definition of terrorism, interrogation methods, detention procedures and the use of military courts; the construction of a security barrier in the West Bank; the situation in Gaza; and Israel Defense Force Operations, including the use of "human shields", the demolition of houses, targeted killings and the killing of civilians. In the final section, the Special Rapporteur provides a brief conclusion and recommendations, drawing the Government's attention to the fact that the high emotional toll of counter-terrorism or security measures easily leads to counterproductive effects. The Special Rapporteur recommends the withdrawal of all Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the replacement of the still unfinished barrier with a security infrastructure that, for its geographical position, respects the Green Line or is otherwise accepted by the Palestinians.


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Presentation of Report by Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism

MARTIN SCHEININ,
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, hoped that the period of transition from the Commission on Human Rights was now completed and that the Council would be able to act on the reports presented to it by the Special Procedures, including his own mandate. Three missions were completed in 2007 and a visit to Spain was planned for 2008. The Philippines had not been able to confirm dates but said a visit would be welcomed. Visit requests were outstanding with Algeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan and Tunisia. The report focussed on the negative impact of counter-terrorism measures on economic, social and cultural rights, and the role of promoting these rights in order to prevent terrorism. South Africa, the United States and Israel were thanked for their cooperation during missions in 2007, and the Palestinian Authority was thanked for the opportunity to meet relevant interlocutors.

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The report welcomed Israel's invitation to comment on new counter-terrorism legislation. However, there were serious incompatibilities between this and its obligations pertaining to human rights and fundamental freedoms. Given the illegality of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, all such settlements should be withdrawn and the barrier replaced with a security infrastructure.

Social and economic marginalization of and discrimination against vulnerable groups often amounted to violation of their human rights, and this could provide fertile soil for recruitment to organizations that might support terrorism. Mr. Scheinin recommended that the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council address the potential of promoting economic, social and cultural rights in strategies to prevent terrorism.


Statements by Concerned Countries


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ITZHAK LEVANON (Israel), speaking as a concerned country, said that Israel recognized the value and merit of engaging in a constructive dialogue with all human rights mechanisms whose mandates were equitable, fair and balanced. In recognition of the constant daily threats of terrorism facing Israel, the Special Rapporteur had rightly called attention to the fact that among the devastating consequences of terrorism were also traumatic psychological consequences. In considering Israel's conduct, it was crucial to examine the situation in its proper context. Israel was striking a delicate balance between competing human rights considerations and security concerns. It was because of such constant and imminent threats that Israel was compelled to remain under a state of emergency.

Israel disagreed with the Special Rapporteur's assertion that this state of emergency was incompatible with Israel's strong democratic legacy. Some of the Special Rapporteur's conclusions were challenged. The security fence was not a political one but a security one and could be dismantled as had been done before. Israel was also open to suggestions as to how to improve the humanitarian situation of Palestinians in Gaza while it remained vigilant about the reality on the ground and against terrorist attacks.


MOHAMMED ABU-KOASH, (
Palestine), speaking as a concerned country, thanked the Special Rapporteur for his valuable report which asked Israel to abide by international law in its policies and practices towards the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory. Bombarding Palestinian residential quarters, using Palestinian children as human shields, torturing detainees, hindering pregnant women from reaching hospitals, the Apartheid Wall, the colonial settlements and the very continuation of the occupation of Palestine and Syrian and Lebanese Territories constituted flagrant violations of international law. Israeli creeping geography had been countered by the Palestinian crawling demography, as the victims of Aryan purity had been transformed into the proponents of Jewish purity.

A flower enjoyed its own natural turf, and yielded its fragrance in its own environment. Likewise, Palestinians had the right to enjoy their olive trees, carnations, and the ancient narrow passages leading to the holy sites of the Dome of the Rock and the Holy Sepulchre that stood out as grand testimonies negating the Israeli town to the holy town of Jerusalem. Noah's Ark had no tyrants, it had those who found grace in the eyes of God.


General Debate on Reports on Indigenous Peoples and Counter-Terrorism


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MASOOD KHAN (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said that the fight against terrorism had to remain a priority, but within the context of respect for international law. Abuses committed in the name of the war on terror by some nations had strengthened the appeal of extremism. The Organization of the Islamic Conference was concerned about the terrorist abuses committed by certain occupying Powers to achieve their ends, and the existence of Islamophobia under the guise of counter-terrorism in some societies.

It was hoped that the Human Rights Council would call for a withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian territories. Checkpoints and other measures should not constitute disproportionate harm and hamper the Palestinian people from enjoying their social and cultural rights. The Organization of the Islamic Conference supported the Special Rapporteur's recommendation that more attention be paid to education for the prevention of terrorism.


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YURI ARIEL GALA LOPEZ (Cuba) ...

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On the reports by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the wall being built in Israel was having an enormous adverse impact on the human rights of the people living in the region. ...

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OMAR SHALABY (Egypt) said that one of the negative impacts that counter-terrorism measures could have was in preventing people from enjoying their cultural rights. That should be addressed. The fight against terrorism should not go against human rights. All human rights mechanisms and bodies should play a significant role in addressing the violations in the Palestinian occupied territories. Pressure exerted by the international community could show Israel that there was no place for such violations.

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GUSTI AGUNG WESAKA PUJA (Indonesia), ...

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On the report of the of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Indonesia supported the report's recommendation urging Israel to withdraw Jewish settlements from the occupied Palestinian territories. Indonesia also agreed that the construction of barrier walls was having a severe negative impact on the enjoyment of all human rights of the Palestinian people and that they should be abolished.

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ENZO BITETTO GAVILANES (Venezuela) ...

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It was important to continue to monitor infringements of human rights and international humanitarian law, and Venezuela acknowledged the impact counter-terrorism measures could have on the economic, social and cultural rights. In that respect, the construction of the barrier in Israel was having a great detrimental effect on the socio-economic conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory and prevented the Palestinian people from realizing their economic, social and cultural rights.

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Rights of Reply

ITZHAK LEVANON (
Israel), speaking in an right to reply, said Israel was touched by the interest expressed by Cuba, Egypt and Algeria, among others, and hoped that those countries would respond favourably to the request by Mr. Scheinin to visit their countries. The observer of Palestine had revealed his true nature in his statement – his words were words of hatred, and his comments an utter disrespect to Holocaust survivors and cheap demagoguery. His words were evocative of George Orwell's in 1984 – that the past had been erased.

MOHAMMED ABU-KOASH, (
Palestine), speaking in an right to reply, said Palestine wished to remind the distinguished representative of Israel that his problem was not with a delegation, it was that Israel was the occupier of Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese territories. The speaker's statement had been very clear, and he wished to remind the representative of Israel, that if he liked poetry, Israel had made subjugation and occupation its motto. Palestinians, like their brethren in South Africa, would overcome, like those in Soweto. Those who suffered in Europe, those who came from concentration camps, from the ghettos, should not act as Palestine's masters – they should know the meaning of suffering. They should draw lessons from the peaceful solution, the compromise based on the withdrawal of Israel from all Occupied Arab Territories. Only then would Israel be treating the Palestinians as equal.

ITZHAK LEVANON (
Israel), speaking in a second right to reply, said this was cheap demagoguery, and Israel would not lower itself to the level of responding to it.

MOHAMMED ABU-KOASH, (
Palestine), speaking in a second right to reply, said the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Scheinin, had asked Israel to abide by international law. If that was cheap talk, it was up to the delegation of Israel to consider.

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For use of the information media; not an official record


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