UN expert on torture calls on Germany to prosecute Uzbek Interior Minister

A United Nations expert on torture has called on the German authorities to prosecute Uzbekistan’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Zokirjon Almatov, who is currently in Germany for treatment, after several survivors of torture filed a case against him in the German courts.

Secretary-General voices full confidence in UN human rights chief after US criticism

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has re-affirmed his “absolute full confidence” in United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour after United States’ UN Ambassador John Bolton termed as “inappropriate” statements in which she condemned holding prisoners in secret centres or handing them over to third countries.

Torture not an instrument to fight terror, but an instrument of terror – Annan

Asserting that torture can never be an instrument to fight terror because it is an instrument of terror, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his annual Human Rights Day message decries the recent trend of countries claiming exceptions to the international prohibition against the practice.

Torture, though on decline, remains widespread in China, UN expert reports

Torture, though on the decline, particularly in urban areas, remains widespread in China, and Government officials have increasingly recognized the problem and undertaken a number of measures to tackle it, the independent United Nations human rights expert on the issue said today.

Poor in US face daunting challenges in getting out of poverty – UN expert

Despite a multitude of federal and state social benefit systems in the United States, a raft of problems ranging from the high cost of health care to lack of low-cost housing impede people struggling to get out of poverty and can been seen as a human rights abuse, an independent United Nations rights expert said today.

Bilateral deportation agreements undermine international human rights law – UN expert

States seeking diplomatic assurances from countries where they are seeking to deport individuals are undermining international human rights law, a United Nations independent expert said today in New York.

UN-backed treaty on forced disappearance of persons drafted in Geneva

The disappearance of people – after arrest, detention, or abduction with the acquiescence of a government – is the target of a new international convention for which a draft has just been completed, the United Nations group on the issue said in a statement released in Geneva.

Human rights situation in Iraq of serious concern, UN reports

The top United Nations envoy in Iraq today voiced serious concern over the human rights situation in the war-torn country, including allegations of extra-judicial executions, consistent reports of excessive use of force and mass detentions of people without warrants, and the displacement of populations in security operations.

After visiting Somalia, UN envoy condemns attacks on human rights defenders, media

The United Nations expert on human rights in Somalia today welcomed the rise of civil society in promoting and protecting human rights in the Horn of Africa country and called on political, business and religious leaders to make sure that attacks on human rights defenders and the media stop.

UN, China agree to cooperate on civil and political rights program

The United Nations human rights office today said that it and China signed a memorandum of understanding designed to help that country implement recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights and at facilitating its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.