Human Rights Chief Attacked for “Lack of Professionalism”

Cuba criticized the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, headed by Navi Pillay, for a “lack of professionalism, lack of stringency and the use of unfounded allegations and improper evaluations.” The statement was issued in response to Pillay’s annual address before this morning’s Human Rights Council session. 

Below is a summary of today’s debate.

  • Navi Pillay condemned the human rights situations in Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt and Sudan. In Sri Lanka, “the opportunity for peace and reconciliation continues to be marred by the treatment of journalists, human rights defenders and other critics of the government,” she said. Pillay also singled out Iran for the “violent crackdown on dissent, including the arbitrary arrest of demonstrators, human rights activists, journalists, and prominent political figures.” Pillay also recounted the achievements of her office in the last year, including the highly controversial and problematic Durban Review Conference, which took place in April 2009 under her stewardship.
  • Cuba criticized Pillay’s office for “a lack of professionalism, a lack of stringency and the use of unfounded allegations and improper evaluations,” claiming a double-standard for treatment of the United States.
  • China cast its show of support for the High Commissioner by declaring its intention to promote the outcome document of the conference on racism in Durban, while Pakistan for the OIC criticized the High Comissioner for omitting mention of “defamation of religion” in describing her planned initiatives for the next year. Saudi Arabia and Indonesia also urged Pillay to prioritize the issue.

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