UN Watch written statements at the 50th Session of the Human Rights Council

The following submissions by United Nations Watch have been published by the UN as official documents of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.

A/HRC/50/NGO/2: Report on Systemic Racism by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Part I

Excerpt: Article 3 of ICERD obligates state parties to “undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices” of “racial segregation and apartheid.” As explained in the Committee’s guidelines for state party reports, the reference to apartheid refers to “all forms of racial segregation.”  Racial segregation, more specifically the ethnic cleansing of Jews, has been the policy in the West Bank at least since Jordan took control in 1948 when it massacred or forcibly expelled any remaining Jewish residents and destroyed Jewish synagogues, cemeteries and schools.

At the end of the 1948 war for Israel’s independence no Jews were left in the West Bank. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, remained free of Jews for the next 19 years until Israel defeated Jordan in the Six Day War, after which Jews returned to lands which Jews had purchased there prior to Israel’s independence.5  At the same time, those Arabs who remained in Israeli territory following the 1948 war gained Israeli citizenship and became part of Israeli society. Today, Israeli Arabs hold prominent position in Israeli society, including as doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians and media personalities. An Arab Muslim party is part of the Israeli government’s ruling coalition. However, there are no Jews in the Palestinian-controlled territories…

A/HRC/50/NGO/3: Report on Systemic Racism by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Part II

Excerpt: Palestinian law systematically entrenches racism and racial discrimination. For example, Palestinian law prohibits selling land to Jews. In October 2021, a Palestinian man was sentenced by a Palestinian court to 15 years in prison for attempting to sell land to Israeli Jews.  This follows the high-profile December 2018 case of an American-Palestinian who was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for violating the Palestinian law prohibiting land sales to Israelis.  In 2016, a group of Palestinian activists, operating with the blessing of senior PA and Hamas officials, undertook a campaign against Palestinians engaged in land sales to Jews.  In 2009, a Hebron court sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging for selling land near his West Bank village to Israelis.  Prior to that, at least eight Palestinians suspected of involvement in property sales to Jews had been kidnapped and executed extrajudicial…

A/HRC/50/NGO/68 (pending publication): Report on Violations of the ICCPR by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas

Excerpt: United Nations Watch submits the following report for the Interactive Dialogues with the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of assembly and summary executions. This report documents suppression of basic civil liberties and acts of torture and summary execution by the Palestinian Authority (“PA”) in the West Bank, and by Hamas in Gaza, in grave violation of international law. We call on the Human Rights Council and all United Nations stakeholders to stop ignoring these Palestinian victims of Palestinian violations, and to take immediate action to protect them.

The PA and Hamas systematically repress dissent in violation of the rights of freedom of expression and association guaranteed in Articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”). They also violate other rights guaranteed in the ICCPR such as the right to life and right to a fair trial. Furthermore, the PA and Hamas employ torture against their political opponents in violation of the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”)…

A/HRC/50/NGO/66 (pending publication): Civil Society Appeal for Release of Russian Political Prisoner Vladimir Kara-Murza

Excerpt: The Civil Society Coalition believes that the war in Ukraine will stop when the Russian people are able to express their opposition to it. We therefore urge the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General along with all other relevant UN human rights mandate-holders and special procedures to speak out and demand the release of all prisoners of conscience detained by the Russian Federation (“Russia”) for the crime of opposing its aggression in Ukraine.

As a case study, this statement focuses on one of these detainees: Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian opposition politician, author, and historian, who has been arbitrarily detained by Russia since 11 April 2022 for exercising his rights to freedom of opinion and expression…

A/HRC/50/NGO/67 (pending publication): China Must Release Human Rights Activist Zhang Baocheng

Excerpt: United Nations Watch submits this written statement to call on China to immediately release human rights defender Zhang Baocheng who has been arbitrarily detained by China since 27 May 2019 for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association. Mr. Zhang had criticized the Chinese government’s crimes against the Uighurs in Xinjiang and provided aid to another dissident.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (“Working Group”), a quasi-judicial panel of five experts, recently upheld in full United Nations Watch’s 23-page petition and determined that China is “arbitrarily detaining” Zhang Baocheng…

 

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