GICJ Written Statements submitted to the 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council
The participation of Geneva International Centre for Justice at the 33rd. session of the Human Rights Council included the submission of several written statements on various human rights issues, including the human rights violations in Iraq, Palestine and Yemen, as well as the current counterproductive approach of combating terrorism and the rise of racism against migrants.
Agenda item 3 - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Since the annexation of Al-Ahwaz by Iran in 1925, the area has seen the worst violations against its citizens who are culturally and ethnically Arabs. The Arab population has been subjected to abuse and discrimination, in the form of arbitrary detention and racial discrimination in the job market and civil societies such as university acceptances. A clear indicator of this disastrous situation is the literacy rate where 80% of Arab women and around 50% of Arab men are illiterate.
In the immediate aftermath of the three terrorist attacks carried out in different districts of Bagdad on 3rd July 2016, leaving more than 300 people killed and over 246 injured, the Iraqi Prime Minister ordered the Ministry of Justice to take the appropriate measures in order to expedite the implementation of the death penalty of inmates convicted of terrorism . The same day, on 4th July 2016, the Minister of Justice issued a statement declaring that five prisoners had been executed, in an apparent act of retaliation. He also stated that his office was taking measures to speed up the implementation of death sentences by shortening to 30 days the time the President has ratified a death sentence.
Chaos has taken over Yemen since the fall of the government in 2011. The situation has particularly degenerated when Houthi and other armed groups affiliated to the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have taken over the power in the capital of Sana’a on 21st September 2014. Since they gained control over large districts of Yemen, these groups have been systemically using abduction and enforced disappearances as means against their opponents.
The war on terror has for the vast majority of those affected by it been an utter and complete failure. International military campaigns have invaded, occupied, and left several countries in political turmoil, hundreds of thousands of civilians have died, millions have been displaced and human rights violations the world over have soared. At the same time, terrorist groups and their activities the very elements the war on terror set out to subvert have flourished.
Agenda item 4 - Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention.
The mandate of the Chilcot Committee was twofold. The investigation first focused on the decision-making process which led to the decision to go to war. The report critically analysed the evidence UK had at this time and how the British Government then decided to join the USA in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The second part of the investigation dealt with the role played by the United Kingdom during the subsequent military action on the ground and its aftermath. The Committee then examined the British armed forces’ conduct during and after the invasion.
Agenda item 7 - Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
For over half a century, Palestinians have been tirelessly waiting for somewhere to call “homeland” again. Who is going to be there to preserve their culture, their traditions, their lands, if generations after generations are forced to live in overcrowded IDP camps, in decadent tents showing a dusty UNHCR logo almost there as a mockery to remind them of the vain presence of a UN which is not truly there.
For decades, the occupied Palestinian people have suffered from grave human rights violations due to Israel’s oppressive and unjust practices. Among the unfair acts against the occupied population is the ongoing Israeli policy of collective punishment, through the demolitions of the family houses of those accused or suspected of carrying out attacks against Israelis. This practice results in the total devastation of completely innocent families, who have nothing to do with the alleged attacks.
Agenda item 9 - Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
2016 marks the fifteenth year of the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, which was conceived as a new framework to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance for generations to come. Today however, safeguarding those higher aspirations for tolerance, diversity and harmonious co-existence in the international community might seem to be a rather utopian ideal for some people. Instead, ideas based on racial superiority or hatred are rapidly gaining consensus, especially following the growing fear of terrorism and the latest waves of mass migration.
Participation of GICJ at Human Rights Council Sessions
Human Rights Council - 35th regular session (6 June - 24 June 2017)
Human Rights Council - 34th regular session (27 February - 24 March 2017)
Human Rights Council - 33rd regular session (10 September - 30 September 2016)
Human Rights Council - 32nd regular session (13 June - 1 and 8 July 2016)
Human Rights Council - 31st regular session (29 February - 24 March 2016)
Human Rights Council - 30th regular session (14 September - 2 October 2015)
Human Rights Council - 29th regular session (15 June - 3 July 2015)
Human Rights Council - 22nd special session on the human rights situation in Iraq in light of abuses committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups - 1 September 2014:
Human Rights Council - 21st special session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem - 23 July 2014:
Human Rights Council - 26th regular session (10 - 27 June 2014):
Human Rights Council - 25th regular session (3 - 28 March 2014):
Human Rights Council - 24th regular session (9 - 27 September 2013):
Human Rights Council - 23rd regular session (27 May - 14 June 2013):
Human Rights Council - 22nd regular session (25 February - 22 March 2013):
Human Rights Council - 21st regular session (10 - 28 September, 5 November 2012):
Human Rights Council - 19th regular session (27 February - 23 March 2012):