Human Rights

UN rights experts welcome Iran prisoner releases, call for freeing of all unlawfully-held detainees

United Nations human rights experts today welcomed Iran’s weekend release of four Iranian-Americans in an apparent prisoner swap with the United States, and called on Tehran to pave the way for the freeing of all remaining unlawfully detained prisoners.

'The moment we do not support the human rights agenda we see it rolling back in many parts of the world' – Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

In September 2002, Zeid was elected the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At that time, the Court was only a plan on paper, and over the next three years he oversaw the election of the first 18 judges, mediated selection of the Court’s first president, and led efforts to name the Court’s first prosecutor – laying out a functioning institution, despite considerable budgetary pressures and criticism of the Court from several leading nations.

Yemen: UN rights chief urges government to reverse decision to expel envoy from country

The United Nations human rights chief today urged the Government of Yemen to reverse its decision to declare his Representative in the strife-torn country persona non grata [unwelcomed person], saying that it was “unwarranted, counter-productive and damaging to the reputation of the Government and its coalition partners.”

Yemen: Ban condemns expulsion of UN rights official; ‘extremely concerned’ for staff

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the Government of Yemen’s decision to expel the United Nations Human Rights representative in the war-torn country, voicing “extreme concern” for the safety of the remaining national and international staff.