UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 51st SESSION

Interactive dialogue on Secretary-General’s report on reprisals

Joint statement by the Benelux countries delivered by H.E. Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador at Large for Human Rights

Thank you Mr President,

I am honoured to deliver this statement on behalf of the three countries of the BENELUX. 

We thank Assistant Secretary-General Brands Kehris for the presentation of her third report. We call upon States to refrain from all forms of intimidation and reprisals.

We take this opportunity to highlight a number of grave cases of intimidation and reprisals that are mentioned in the report:

  • In Belarus, seven members of the Human Rights Center Viasna, are currently arbitrarily detained after having engaged with various UN human rights mechanisms to denounce violations by the Belarusian government.
     
  • In Burundi, human rights lawyers Armel Niyongere, Dieudonné Bashirahishize, Vital Nshimirimana and Lambert Nigarura were disbarred and forced to leave the country after engaging with the Committee Against Torture in 2016.
     
  • In China Jiang Tianyong, an HRD who was detained for over two years after meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty in 2016, and is currently under house arrest,

and all other cases, of reprisals mentioned in the report.

Thank you Mr President.