CDH examine les exécutions sommaires et la liberté d'expression - Communiqué de presse Français
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Human Rights Council starts interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteurs
on freedom of expression and arbitrary executions
The Human Rights Council this afternoon started a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. It also concluded a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education.
Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said that his annual report explored key trends and challenges to the protection of journalists and media freedom. 2011 showed a worrying trend of increasing numbers of attacks against journalists and individuals monitoring street protests and demonstrations around the world. An attack against a journalist could be conceived as an attack against democracy. Both State and non-State actors perpetrated attacks against journalists; at particular risk were those who reported on human rights violations, corruption, organized crime, public crises, drug trafficking, demonstrations or environmental issues.
Turning to his country missions, the Special Rapporteur expressed concern about acts of intimidation against journalists in Algeria, as well as the lack of independence of the media. Following his mission to Israel the Special Rapporteur said he was concerned by recent attempts to limit criticism of Israel regarding its policies and practices of occupation and questioning of Israel as a Jewish state. In the occupied Palestinian territory journalists faced multiple obstacles to carry out their work as a result of the internal division between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the de facto authorities in Gaza. Demonstrations were prevented from taking place in the West Bank by the Israeli Defence Forces. In East Jerusalem, the right of Palestinians to freedom of opinion and expression was unduly restricted by the Government of Israel. There was an excessive use of force by the security forces of the de facto authorities in Gaza to disperse peaceful assemblies and arbitrary arrests and detention of those expressing opinions deemed unacceptable. In conclusion the Special Rapporteur said it was undeniable that without free and independent media to inform the public, and freedom of expression for all individuals, there could not be a sustainable and democratic society based on accountability, transparency and respect for human rights. The Special Rapporteur renewed his call on all Governments to be tolerant of criticisms, ensure that journalists could carry out their functions effectively and to allow individuals to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds through any means.
Palestine, speaking as a concerned country, stressed the importance of information contained in the report, particularly in relation to recommendations. It also emphasized the legal dimension of the report, especially with respect to the responsibilities of Israel as the occupying power, including in the Gaza strip. Palestine affirmed that some violations had been committed in some cases, where no distinction had been made between freedom of opinion, freedom of expression and freedom of information. That required continued efforts. Occupation was the most flagrant violation of human rights and its continuation impeded the huge efforts of the Palestinian National Authorities in the field of protection and promotion of human rights. Thousands of persons – political activists and not persons involved in military armed action – had been detained as a result of exercising their rights, including freedom of opinion and expression. Palestine asked about the legal status of those detainees.