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        General Assembly
2 September 2010

English/French/Spanish only

Human Rights Council
Fifteenth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination


Communications to and from Governments*


I. Introduction

1. This report contains a comprehensive account of communications sent to Governments between 16 December 2008 and 25 July 2010, along with replies received between 1 February 2009 and 25 August 2010. It also contains responses received to communications that were sent in earlier years.

2. A total of 19 communications were sent to 15 different countries. However, a number of these communications addresses one single event involving several countries. For example, regarding an alleged plot against the democratically elected President of Bolivia and involving mercenaries, the Working Group sent letters to the Governments of Bolivia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Ireland, whose nationals were allegedly involved in the incident. Regarding the participation of mercenaries in the operations of the security forces of Guinea in September 2009 against peaceful demonstrators, the Working Group addressed letters to Israel and South Africa regarding the alleged involvement of their nationals in these operations.

3. The Working Group received 9 replies in response to its 19 communications. The Working Group thanks all the governments that have provided a reply for their cooperation with its mandate given by the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council and invite all others to do so without further delay.

4. The present document is submitted as an addendum to the Working Group report to the tenth session of the Human Rights Council.

II. Communications to and from Governments




44. On 14 May 2009, the Working Group sent a Follow up to a communication sent by the Working Group on 17 October 2008, concerning allegations that Israeli private security companies are being used to maintain the Wall and its associated regime, and Israeli settlements inside the Palestinian territories. This letter follows a response from the Israeli authorities dated 29 October 2008 requesting clarification on the Working Group’s reference to the “Wall”. The Working group replied that in all occurrences, reference is made to the concrete/barbed-wire/electrified fence/dirt mounds/other materials structure in its entirety, as described by the International Court of Justice as the “Wall”, and by the United Nations Secretary-General as the “barrier”.

Reply from the Government of Israel dated 26 April 2010

45. The Government of Israel responded that checkpoints management personnel comprise of civil service employees and Private security Companies (PSCs). It stated that security personnel undergo training, including on security examination and culture of Islam, approved and supervised by authorities. In addition, Israeli authorities requested that any further communication refers to ‘barrier’ and not ‘wall’.



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