Top UN human rights official repeats concern about situation in Colombia

Top UN human rights official repeats concern about situation in Colombia

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, today reiterated her concern about the critical human rights and humanitarian situation in Colombia, which she said had worsened as a result of terrorist acts committed since the inauguration of President Alvaro Uribe last week.

In a statement released in Geneva, Mrs. Robinson noted the state of emergency declared by the Colombian Government on Sunday, and said that she recognized the legitimacy of measures available to States to defend themselves against grave threats to the life of their nations.

The measures adopted by governments in the exercise of exceptional powers have to be consistent with commitments derived from international human rights laws, the High Commissioner added. "These laws regulate the limits of public powers when they place restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms," she said. "Any such restrictions must be submitted to the control of the judiciary."

Mrs. Robinson also pledged that the UN field office in Colombia would continue to monitor and provide advice on the implementation of the emergency measures.