YK:n Ihmisoikeuskomissio ja ilmaisunvapaus

3 04 2008

En ole kirjoittanut pitkään aikaan mitään, pahoittelut siitä. Tämäkin postaus koostuu lähinnä copypasteista, haluan tuoda esille asian joka on huolestuttanut minua tällä viikolla, ja josta en ole nähnyt pahemmin keskustelua viestimissä.

Seuraava teksti on Toimittajat ilman rajoja -järjestön sivuilta:

UN Human Rights Council turns special rapporteur on free expression into prosecutor (31.3.2008)

Reporters Without Borders condemns the change to the mandate of the special rapporteur on the protection of the right to freedom of expression that was made by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The rapporteur is now supposed to investigate abuses of the right of freedom of expression.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the change to the mandate of the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression that was made by the United Nations Human Rights Council at the end of its seventh session on 28 March. The rapporteur is now supposed to investigate abuses of the right of freedom of expression.

“As we have been repeating for the nearly two years since its creation, the UN Human Rights Council is far from being up to the job it has been given,” the press freedom organisation said. “The change to the mandate of the special rapporteur on free expression is dramatic. It turns someone who is supposed to defend freedom of opinion into a prosecutor whose job is to go after those who abuse this freedom.

“There are other mechanisms for condemning racist attacks or defamation by the media. It is not the rapporteur on free expression’s job to do this. It is like asking the rapporteur on freedom of religion to investigate human rights abuses committed in the name of religion. Such reasoning is absurd.

“The growing influence of Organisation of the Islamic Conference member states within the Human Rights Council is disturbing. All of the council’s decisions are nowadays determined by the interests of the Muslim countries or powerful states such as China or Russia that know how to surround themselves with allies. The UN secretary-general should intervene as quickly as possible.”

“The mandates of the special rapporteurs on Cuba and Belarus, two of the world’s worst press freedom predators, were not renewed in May 2007,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “Last week it was Democratic Republic of Congo’s turn to get rid of its special human rights rapporteur. It is deplorable that these countries, in which serious human rights violations are committed every day, are no longer subject to closing monitoring and criticism by the UN.”

The change to the special rapporteur on free expression’s mandate was approved by 32 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 member states. Those that opposed the change included EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and some Latin American countries.” (lähde: Reporters Without Borders)

Englantilainen sananvapausjärjestö Article 19 ja arabimaissa toimiva Cairo Institute For Human Rights Studies antoivat julkilausuman Ihmisoikeuskomission ilmaisunvapauden erityisraportoijan alkuperäisen toimenkuvan säilyttämisen puolesta. Sen allekirjoitti 40 sananvapaus- ja ihmisoikeusjärjestöä eri puolilta maailmaa, erityisesti Organisation of the Islamic Conferencen maista (linkki). Järjestöjen mielestä ilmaisunvapauden väärinkäytösten vahtaamisen ei pitäisi kuulua Ihmisoikeuskomission ilmaisunvapauden erityisraportoijan tehtäviin, koska YK:n piirissä on jo elimiä, jotka valvovat rasistista syrjintää ja puuttuvat siihen. Muutos toimenkuvassa myös sotii kyseisen erityisraportoijan mandaatin henkeä vastaan, huomion kiinnittyessä ilmaisunvapautta loukkaavien rajojen kritisoinnista loukkaavan ilmaisun kritisointiin.

Järjestöt näyttävät pelkäävän, että uskonnon tai uskonnollisen järjestelmän kritisointia voidaan nyt kutsua ilmaisunvapauden väärinkäyttämiseksi. Näin autoritaaristen maiden toisinajattelijoilta viedään tärkeä poliittinen ase, oikeus vedota sananvapauteen kaikissa tilanteissa.

Alla tärkeimmät kohdat vetoomuksesta (lihavoinnit Kaspardus, mielestäni hyviä pointteja):

”We, the Undersigned, are deeply concerned that the proposed amendment undermines the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, at a time when it most needs protection and strengthening.

The proposed amendment is particularly problematic for the following reasons:

1. It goes against the spirit of the mandate: The role of the Special Rapporteur is not to look at abusive expression, but to consider and monitor abusive limits on expression. There are several other United Nations bodies which have a specific role in relation to incitement to racial hatred, such as Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which has devoted a lot of attention to it.
2. It lacks balance: The amendment only focuses on restrictions to freedom of expression, rather than on the idea of an appropriate balance between the positive protection for the right to freedom of expression and the need to limit incitement to racial and religious hatred. This lack of balance is reflected, for example, in the opening language, as well as in the reference only to Article 19(3), which is about restrictions on freedom of expression, rather than to Article 19 as a whole.
3. It is unnecessary: It is inherent to the mandate that the Special Rapporteur should consider and comment on appropriate limitations to the right to freedom of expression, as the current post-holder Ambeyi Limbago has done many times before (as well as his predecessor). Furthermore, by focusing specifically on one type of restriction, the proposed amendment puts undue emphasis on it.
4. It can be misinterpreted: The convoluted wording of the amendment may leave international human rights law generally and the special mandate specifically open to various misleading interpretations.
International law provides for a clear and carefully calibrated framework of standards in this area, found in Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which rule out incitement to hatred on the basis of nationality, race or religion but which protect criticism, including criticisms of politics, beliefs systems or religion. In particular, the provisions on protection of reputation contained in international human rights law are designed to protect individuals, not abstract values or institutions.
• While international law permits certain restrictions on speech to protect reputation of individuals, these restrictions are not extended to cover religions per se. International law does not entirely rule out restrictions on speech to protect religion but circumscribes the precise scope of such restrictions. Religious believers have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their beliefs, but religion itself cannot be set free from criticism.
The equality of all ideas and convictions before the law and the right to debate them freely is the keystone of democracy. As international human rights courts have stressed, freedom of expression is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received, but also to those that may offend, shock or disturb any or all of us. The current amendment may be understood as an attempt to undermine this well-established framework.

We, the Undersigned, are particularly troubled by the repeated attacks against the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and freedom of expression.

In view of the recent global rise in intolerance, the Human Rights Council should instead insist that freedom of expression itself is one of the most effective recourses and tools against abuses of human rights, including abuses of the right to equality. It should invite all relevant UN mandates to strengthen cooperation amongst such bodies towards promoting a better understanding of the indivisibility of human rights and what that principle means in practice. The Human Rights Council should also urge all member states to reinforce the international protection of the human rights of every people and every person – in particular, the individual rights to life, equality and justice, as well as the rights of minorities, including religious minorities, against acts of hatred, oppression and violence.”


Toiminnot

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One response

22 12 2008
Ihmisoikeuksien julistus 60 vuotta « Kaspardus

[…] Ps. Ihmisoikeuksia turvaava kehitys YK:ssa voi myös ottaa takapakkia, kuten Toimittajat ilman rajoja pelkää. Kirjoitin  aiheesta jo aikaisemmin. […]

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