UN rapporteurs call on countries to allow peaceful protests in support of Gaza

World
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 8:10 GMT
Excessive restrictions imposed on civil society striving to protect human rights in conflict in Gaza are not justified, says joint statement.
UN rapporteurs call on countries to allow peaceful protests in support of Gaza

UN special rapporteurs emphasized the vital importance of countries allowing peaceful protests to be held to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza, end atrocities against the Palestinian people and halt serious human rights violations.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday by UN rapporteurs, they said excessive restrictions imposed on a civil society striving to protect human rights and uphold respect for international humanitarian law in the context of the conflict in Gaza are not justified.

The statement highlighted that such actions contravene states' obligations to prevent genocide and atrocities under international law.

“As the international community takes steps towards negotiating a cease-fire that will end brutal hostilities in Gaza and deliver accountability for atrocities committed in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, we urge States to respect and enable the rights of everyone to freedom of peaceful assembly, of association and of expression,” it said.

The statement also underscored the importance of ensuring that measures taken by states to combat terrorism, hate speech and antisemitism do not result in excessive restrictions and reprisals against protesters.

"Allowing peaceful protests is crucial for achieving a cease-fire in Gaza and ending atrocities against the Palestinian people and serious human rights violations," it said.

UN special rapporteurs are recognized as part of the Human Rights Council's special mechanisms.

The independent special mechanisms in the UN Human Rights system are distinguished for gathering and monitoring information on specific country situations or thematic issues anywhere in the world as part of the Council's processes.

Experts from outside the institution and not affiliated with the Council volunteer and work independently.

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