Human Rights

UN human rights expert calls on US to consult with indigenous people over land sale

A United Nations independent expert today called on the United States Government and authorities in the state of South Dakota to start consultations with indigenous people on a land sale that will affect a site of spiritual significance to them.

UN expert urges US authorities to stop execution of two persons with disabilities

An independent United Nations human rights expert has urged United States authorities to stop the execution of two people with psychosocial disabilities who are scheduled to be put to death tomorrow in the states of Georgia and Texas.

Cambodia needs more transparency in dealing with economic concessions – UN

An independent United Nations human rights expert has urged the Cambodian Government to act with more transparency when dealing with economic and other land concessions, and to make the process more inclusive for the individuals and communities affected.

Papua New Guinea on ‘slippery path’ to undermining rule of law, warns UN official

A top United Nations official today voiced concern about recent steps taken by the Government in Papua New Guinea that undermine the rule of law, breach international human rights standards, impinge on the independence of the judiciary, and could lead to serious instability.

Brazil: UN welcomes prosecution of retired colonel for abuses during military rule

The United Nations human rights office today welcomed the prosecution of a retired Brazilian army colonel for disappearances during the country’s military dictatorship as a “first and crucial step” in fighting the impunity that surrounds that period.

China: UN human rights office voices concern over jail term for lawyer

The United Nations human rights office expressed concern today at reports that a Chinese court has replaced the period of probation given to a human rights lawyer with a three-year prison sentence, saying the move is indicative of a trend of secret detentions in the Asian nation.

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.