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Source: Human Rights Council
4 March 2008



UNITED NATIONS

Press Release




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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HEARS FROM
11 DIGNITARIES AS IT CONTINUES
HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
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Human Rights Council
AFTERNOON
4 March 2008


The Human Rights Council this afternoon continued its high-level segment, hearing from 11 dignitaries, who raised a wide range of issues, including the relationship between poverty eradication and upholding human rights, the upcoming Universal Periodic Review process, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the respect of human rights in the fight against terrorism.


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High-Level Segment


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BECHIR TEKKARI,
Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Tunisia, welcomed the work carried out by the Council to reform and develop the human rights system. Tunisia had had the honour of being elected as a Member of the first Human Rights Council and it had worked to help lay the foundations of the Council. Tunisia was deeply concerned about the latest military operations in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military which left unarmed civilian victims killed and wounded, especially women and children. This was a stark violation of the most basic of human rights. Tunisia called on the international community to move quickly to end the repeated attacks on the Palestinian people, and it warned of the consequences which could threaten peaceful efforts to revive the peace process.

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IDRISS JAZAIRY (
Algeria), speaking in a right of reply, referring to the address of the Netherlands, and particularly to his reference to the practice of torture in his country, said that the Netherlands was right in saying that torture was unacceptable in all circumstances and in all countries; but he should also have mentioned the territories of the Netherlands of Aruba as the Committee Against Torture in its thirty-eighth session had expressed its concerns on the "ill-treatment or sexual aggressions in the prison of Aruba". There were also concerns over racist incidents and xenophobia, particularly anti-Semitic and Islamophobic in nature, against ethnic minorities, migrant workers, and asylum-seekers in the Netherlands. The Netherlands seemed to be worried about human rights in selective way, as an international political instrument, without saying anything about the Israeli collective retaliations on the civilian population in Gaza and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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IDRISS JAZAIRY (
Algeria), speaking in a second right of reply, said that Algeria was delighted to hear from the Netherlands that they would take into account the recommendations of the Human Rights Committee; that would be very positive for the people in Aruba. What he had wanted to say about the document referred to concerning Algeria was that the Netherlands should have also looked at Algeria's replies that had been posted on the Human Rights Committee website, as that would have provided a more objective answer. That was why Algeria had called for more objectivity, especially as there had not been one word about the 160 people – women, children and civilians – that had died as a result of the collective reprisals carried out by Israel in the Palestinian territories. As to the receiving of a mandate holder, that was a matter of sovereignty. Everyone knew that the problem that Algeria had with Mr. Novak's proposed visit was his exaggerated terms which they could not agree on.

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