UN experts to probe human rights situation in Sudan, Uzbekistan

29 July 2005

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights today named special experts to look into the rights situation in Sudan and Uzbekistan.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights today named special experts to look into the rights situation in Sudan and Uzbekistan.

Sima Samar of Afghanistan, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women's Affairs in the post-Taliban government, who now chairs the country's Independent Human Rights Commission, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan on the same day that the UN reported that rape and sexual violence continue in the strife-torn Darfur region.

Earlier this year, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur, where at least 180,000 people have been killed and 2 million displaced since fighting between rebels and the Government and allied militia erupted in 2003, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a UN inquiry found “serious violations of international human rights law.”

Michèle Picard of France, an alternate member of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, the Commission's subsidiary body, was named Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Uzbekistan, where the UN has expressed concern over developments stemming from unrest in May in the eastern Andijan region.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has said that while the Uzbek Government claimed fewer than 200 people were killed in the unrest, other sources put the death toll at hundreds more.

“It is not excluded, as described by eyewitnesses interviewed, that the Andijan incidents amounted to a “mass killing,” it added in a report which noted that the international community might consider establishing a public mechanism of scrutiny of the situation “in light of the consistent pattern of human rights violations in Uzbekistan.”

The commission made the following other appointments:

Rudi Muhammad Rizki of Indonesia, an ad hoc Judge of the Indonesian Human Rights Court, as Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity.Martin Scheinin of Finland, professor of constitutional and International law for the past 12 years and a member of the Human Rights Committee for 8 years, as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.Jorge A. Bustamante, professor of sociology teaching International migration and human rights at the University of Notre Dame and Chairman/Rapporteur for the group of experts for the UN world study on International Migration and Human Rights from 1996 to 1999, as Special Rapporteur on the rights of Migrants in succession to Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro of Costa Rica, who has held the mandate since 1999.


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