NGO to U.N. Rights Council: Turkey Should Learn From Israel on Peaceful Protest

UN Watch Statement to UN Human Rights Council
Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building
12 June 2013

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch welcomes today’s report by the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the field of human rights.

Annex 1 lists the 19 countries where human rights advisers have been deployed. One cannot help but notice that these are all located in the South, and in the East. Not a single country from WEOG, the Western group, is included. Yet some stand in clear need of human rights advice and capacity building.

For example, as we meet, one member of this group is experiencing grave challenges in handling peaceful protests. According to that country’s medical association, more than 5,000 people have been wounded. A large number have lost their eyes, injured by water cannons, as well as close-range shots from tear gas canisters and plastic bullets aimed directly at them.

In this regard, the Office of the High Commissioner has recognized an excessive use of force. It could now also offer advice. It could point to the model of a nearby country, which two years ago witnessed its own mass protests. Tents were pitched across the center of its largest city. Hundreds of thousands rallied for social justice. Yet the government’s response was entirely peaceful, leading only to the election of new political parties…

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