Archive for the 'Pakistan' Category

UNHRC member Pakistan sentences mentally-ill man to death for blasphemy

Despicable: Pakistan, a member of the UN Human Rights Council, has just sentenced to death a mentally-ill man for the crime of blasphemy.



Pakistan’s UPR: “With a little help from my friends”

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is often demonstrated as one of the Human Rights Council’s success stories. Indeed, it can have an impact when countries want to listen, learn from the peers and improve their human rights record. However, where this process fails is with the worse abusers. As we have showed in a 100-page report, the UPR regularly becomes a “Mutual Praise Society.” In January, the UAE celebrated its human rights record long before the review started. Similarly, last week Pakistan rallied its friends to defend its record and monopolize the discussion, a déjà-vu from its initial review. The list of speakers and their statements are revealing (the UK was the only Western country to take the floor).

Indonesia: Indonesia, in particular, welcomes the government’s various legal, institutional, and administrative initiatives on the advancement of women.

Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran commends the active participation of Pakistan in the UPR process and acknowledges its constructive engagement with the Council by accepting many recommendations made to it.

Continue reading ‘Pakistan’s UPR: “With a little help from my friends”’

UN hosts seminar against defamation – but downplays state-orchestrated violence

During a recent meeting at the UN, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay seemed to downplay the responsibility of governments in instigating violent protests, while Pakistan tried to dilute the meaning of antisemitism.

On Thursday, February 21, 2013, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organized a conference on the Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence. This is a series of seminars held around the world against the concept of “defamation of religion,” an Islamic-inspired notion that aims to limit free speech.

In her opening statement, the High Commissioner said that “In recent years, incidents involving hate speech, negative stereotyping in the media and even advocacy of religious or national hatred by public officials and political parties have resulted in killings of innocent people, attacks on places of worship and calls for reprisals.” We agree with her that racism, discrimination, hate speech and incitement to violence should be constantly and unequivocally condemned and combated. However, her statement failed to hold governments responsible for provoking social unrest. According to the New York Times, 19 people died and 160 were injured in Pakistan following “government-sanctioned protests” over an obscure YouTube video.

Continue reading ‘UN hosts seminar against defamation – but downplays state-orchestrated violence’

U.N. Review Praises Pakistan’s Rights Record

This week the U.N. Human Rights Council examined, as part of its periodic review of all countries,  the human rights situations in two countries with highly questionable records, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Both attracted the greatest interest of the session, with 99 states wanting to speak on Sri Lanka and 89 for Pakistan. Friends and foes alike took the floor.

On Pakistan, several countries — including the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and Canada — rightly pointed out ongoing violations concerning women’s rights, minority rights and blasphemy laws.

Amazingly, however, while the purpose of the “Universal Periodic Review” mechanism is to scrutinize governments in order to improve the lives of victims, many of the others took the floor solely to praise Pakistan. From the U.N. summary:

Pakistan’s under fire as UN rights review set to begin today

Pakistan’s UN Review Today Prompts NGO Appeal Opposing its Nov. 12 Bid to Join UN Rights Council

International campaign of 40 MPs & NGOs protest candidacy

Coalition from 19 countries including US, France, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Bahrain, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda


GENEVA, October 30, 2012 — As the UN Human Rights Council prepared to review Pakistan today in Geneva, the non-governmental group UN Watch took the following actions today:

1. UN Watch published a new 16-page report, “In Praise of Pakistan,” which demonstrates how the last review of Pakistan was “a missed opportunity,” and expressed alarm that many countries would again today fail to conduct a genuine review that applies scrutiny;

2. UN Watch distributed an international appeal by 40 MPs and NGOs (see text below) opposing Pakistan’s bid for Nov. 12th to join the 47-nation body; and

3. UN Watch circulated a draft UN resolution to condemn Pakistani abuses.

“A government that fails to confront — or much less name — the brutal Taleban who shot Malala, an inncocent girl seeking equality and education, does not deserve to be a global judge of human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch and an international lawyer. Continue reading ‘Pakistan’s under fire as UN rights review set to begin today’

Shamed Sudan Pulls Out After Campaign by Human Right NGOs led by Mia Farrow

UN Watch sounded the alarm, filed legal protest, submitted appeal by 30 rights groups to 193 countries, organized online petition sending  3,000 messages to Sudanese UN mission

Group now shifts focus to candidacies of Venezuela and Pakistan

GENEVA, Sept. 3 – In a rare victory for activists seeking to bar abuser states from the U.N. Human Rights Council, Sudan dropped its bid following a massive NGO campaign chaired by Mia Farrow and organized by the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.

The UN Watch offensive included the filing of a legal objection, an appeal by 30 human rights NGOs, the dispatch of letters to nine foreign ministers and 193 U.N. missions, a Facebook and online campaign that sent 3,000 messages to Sudan’s UN envoy, and to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who in turn pressured the Khartoum regime.

Continue reading ‘Shamed Sudan Pulls Out After Campaign by Human Right NGOs led by Mia Farrow’

Testimony to U.N.: Rights chief Navi Pillay should quit picking on Canada while handing propaganda coup to Pakistan and Zimbabwe


UN Watch Testimony before the 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council, delivered under Agenda Item 2 (High Commissioner’s Report), 18 June 2012. Audio.

Thank you, Madam President.

UN Watch welcomes the human rights documentation in the High Commissioner’s report, which only underscores the need for this council to address the world’s worst violators.

In Syria, President Assad is slaughtering his own people. The UN monitors, sent in to help stop the violence, have suspended their mission because, as they explained it, there was too much violence.

All UN agencies must now send a clear message that the Assad regime has no legitimacy. Yet the very opposite message was sent when UNESCO recently elected Syria to its human rights committee. Continue reading ‘Testimony to U.N.: Rights chief Navi Pillay should quit picking on Canada while handing propaganda coup to Pakistan and Zimbabwe’

Dissidents propose draft resolutions for world’s ignored emergencies

The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place on March 13, 2012, organized by UN Watch and an international coalition of 20 NGOs. The Summit, which ran in parallel to the main session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, produced alternative draft resolutions for the Council to consider. These deal with urgent human rights situaitons that have so far been ignored by the international community. These are:

Chavez running for seat on top UN rights body

Rights groups to oppose bids by Pakistan and Venezuela for UN Human Rights Council

GENEVA, Feb. 22 – The governments of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Pakistan are slated to run unopposed for seats on the UN’s 47-nation Human Rights Council this year, reported the independent monitoring group UN Watch, citing sources close to the UN.

“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, who announced the formation of an international coalition of parliamentarians and human rights groups to block both candidacies, “due to their poor records on human rights protection at home and on human rights promotion at the UN.” Continue reading ‘Chavez running for seat on top UN rights body’

Letter from UN’s Islamic group to UNHRC President Opposing Panel on Violence Against Gays

PDF of original letter


56 me de Moillebeau
1211 Geneva 19
Tel: (4122) 7491930
Fax: (4122) 734 8085

No. Pol/S0/2012

14 February 2012

H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre
President of the Human Rights Council

My dear President,

I am writing to you in my capacity as Coordinator of the OIC Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues in Geneva.

2.         I wish to explain the position taken by the Member States of the OIC onResolution 17/19 and the subsequent Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” scheduled to be held on 7 March 2012 during the 19’th Session of the Human rights Council.

3.         The OIC States are deeply concerned by the introduction in the Human Rights Council of controversial notions like “sexual orientation and gender identity.” The OIC countries have been consistent in their opposition to the consideration of these controversial notions in the context of human right at international fora. Continue reading ‘Letter from UN’s Islamic group to UNHRC President Opposing Panel on Violence Against Gays’

Pakistan claims “diplomatic” victory over absence of UN resolution on Mumbai attacks

The Pakistan government sees the failure of the United Nations to issue a resolution regarding the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks despite unprecedented pressure from India, as its diplomatic win over its neighbour, reports Asian News International (ANI).

Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Hussain Haroon said Pakistan was emerging as the most important country on the world map due to Islamabad’s diplomatic efforts.

“It is shameful that U.N. bodies such as the Human Rights Council have ignored the victims of the Mumbai terror attack due to political pressure by Pakistan, which chairs the 56-strong Islamic group,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “Pakistan is cheering because the U.N. chose politics over victims.”

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