Human Rights

Thai laws on insulting royals having chilling effect on freedom of expression – UN

The United Nations human rights office today called on Thai authorities to reform laws that jail people convicted of insulting senior members of the country’s royal family, saying they were having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

UN rights chief hails Brazil’s truth commission as vital in tackling past abuses

The United Nations human rights chief today hailed the creation of Brazil’s truth commission as an important first step towards promoting healing and investigating the violations that took place during the political repression of 1946 to 1988.

UN human rights chief urges immediate action on Syria as death toll passes 3,000

The UN human rights chief today urged the international community to act immediately to protect lives in Syria, where the number of people killed since violence erupted in March has topped 3,000, including over 180 children.

Thailand should amend defamation laws to comply with freedom of speech – UN expert

A United Nations human rights expert today called on Thailand to amend laws that impose jail terms of three to 15 years on “whoever defames, insults or threatens” top members of the country’s royal family, stressing that their vagueness contravened international treaties.

UN rights expert urges Algerian Government to probe killing of political activist

The independent United Nations expert on the right to freedom of opinion and expression today called on the Algerian Government to investigate the killing of a political activist he had met on a recent official visit to the North African nation and to bring those responsible to justice.

Right to freedom of expression vital as Algeria embarks on reforms – UN expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on Algeria to guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression as part of its ongoing political reforms, noting that journalists still face a number of challenges in carrying out their work.

UN independent expert urges Austria to promote cultural diversity and rights

The United Nations independent expert on cultural rights today encouraged the Austrian Government to consider cultural diversity an invaluable resource and to take concrete measures to promote it by recognizing the ways of life of minority groups.

Syria's violent repression of protests risks fuelling further anger - UN official

The United Nations human rights chief on Saturday urged Syria to listen to the voices of its people who are rising up and demanding change in the country, warning that continued killing of protesters will only lead to more anger and violence.

DR Congo: UN report details suffering of rape victims, recommends reparations

A United Nations report unveiled today highlights the deprivations endured by thousands of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including poverty, denial of justice and lack of access to medical and psychological treatment, and recommends the establishment of a reparations fund.

Level of police violence in Papua New Guinea alarms UN expert on torture

An independent United Nations human rights expert has voiced concern about the “regular practice” of police violence in Papua New Guinea, which he said often reaches the level of torture, as well as appalling conditions for detainees.