India, Israel Amongst “Shameful” Countries for Human Right Violations: UN

The United Nations (UN) listed best allies India and Israel among 38 “shameful” nations, which carried out human right violations via slaughter, brutality and arbitrary arrests. Accusations of ill-treatment, surveillance, criminalisation, and unrestricted stigmatization attacks targeting victims and human rights defenders were also included on the list. 

As per media reports, Israel was enlisted in the category of 38 nations for its continuing legal battle against Human Rights Watch representative Omar Shakir, whose visa was not extended and whose expulsion was ordered on the grounds of supporting the BDS movement.

Humans Right Watch questioned the judgment and blamed Israel for trying to silence criticism on its human right’s record and that going after Omar Shakir was an attempt to go after HRW as a whole. Omar Shakir remains in the country after the District Court backtracked on its initial judgment to go through with the expulsion and the case remains under review.

“The world owes it to those brave people standing up for human rights, who have responded to requests to provide information to and engage with the United Nations, to ensure their right to participate is respected,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote in the annual report.

Which are the Shameful Countries?

The 38 “shameful” nations included 29 countries with new cases, Israel among them, and 19 with ongoing or lingering cases. The 29 new cases included were Bahrain, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cuba,  Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Venezuela.

Authorities repeatedly charged human rights activists with terrorism or charged them for cooperating with foreign entities or damaging the state’s reputation or security, it said. “There is a worrying bias in the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism strategies by states as an argument for barring access by communities and civil society organizations to the United Nations,” the report said.

Women supporting the U.N. had reported intimidations including rape and being subject to online slander attacks, and U.N. staff often encountered people who were too afraid to speak to them, even at U.N. headquarters in New York and Geneva.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour, who will present the report to the Human Rights Council next week, said in a statement that the cases in the report were the tip of the iceberg. “We are also frequently witnessing legal, political and administrative barriers used to threaten and mute the civil society,” he said.

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