Human Rights

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the UK, UN panel finds

The founder of the WikiLeaks website, which published confidential diplomatic information, has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London in December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.

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.

Compelling moments from 2015, told by UN human rights experts

Every year, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly hears from dozens of experts on human rights-related issues. The experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. The work of the experts, 54 of whom presented their latest findings over the past two months, covers all human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political, and social.

UN experts call on Iran to release journalist Jason Rezaian as he awaits verdict

United Nations human rights experts today urged the Iranian Government to immediately release the Washington Post’s correspondent in Tehran, Jason Rezaian, who now awaits verdict after his fourth and possible final hearing earlier this week.

Condemning new death sentence, UN rights chief highlights alarming use of capital punishment in Iran

The top United Nations human rights official today expressed alarm at the imposition of the death penalty on Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of a spiritual movement, writer and practitioner of alternative medicine theories used in Iran and abroad.

UN rights experts call on Iran to end death penalty

Two United Nations human rights experts have condemned the sharp increase in executions across Iran in recent weeks, urging the Government in Tehran to heed the Organization's appeal for an immediate halt on the use of the death penalty.

Malaysia’s anti-terror and sedition laws ‘curtail’ human rights, warns UN rights chief

A series of amendments to Malaysia’s 1948 Sedition Act risk seriously undermine freedom of expression and opinion throughout the country, the top United Nations human rights official warned today as he urged the Asian state to bring its legislation in line with international human rights standards.