PBI and RIDH present to UN Human Rights Council on police and military infringements on the freedom of peaceful assembly

Published by Brent Patterson on

Video of Kim-Mai Vu, PBI-Switzerland advocacy coordinator.

On July 1, Peace Brigades International delivered an oral statement in collaboration with the International Network of Human Rights (RIDH) at the UN Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

That statement noted:

“PBI and the RIDH welcome the report of the Rapporteur on access to justice in the context of the defense of the rights to peaceful assembly and association.

Mexico

We agree with the Rapporteur that the meetings should not be controlled by armed forces such as the National Guard in Mexico, a military police force that already accumulates 522 complaints before the Commission National Human Rights (CNDH) since 2020.

Likewise, the repression of the protest, defamations and arbitrary arrests that took place against the feminist movement for part of different security forces in Mexico. Only in March 2021, the IM Defenders reported 282 attacks against women defenders in Mesoamerica, resulting in March 2021, the most dangerous, tripling the number of attacks compared to January and February.

Guatemala

In Guatemala, in a context of strong weakening of the independence of justice and the State of Law, the NGO Law came into force on June 21, which, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), restricts ‘civic space, putting the rights to freedom at risk association and freedom of expression hindering citizen participation and the defense of human rights’.

We are very concerned about the threat that this law poses to particular for people and community organizations that work in defense of human rights of the indigenous peoples, the peasants, the territory and the environment. Ambiguous formulations open the possibility of further criminalization and to penalize their organizations and the search of justice.

Colombia

In Colombia, we are alarmed by the unprecedented level of police abuses observed on the occasion of the protests that started with the national strike, unacceptable figures for enforced disappearances, paramilitary practices in the urban context, especially in Cali, and the attack on medical missions, human rights defenders and journalists.

It is urgent that the supervisory bodies act and that the independence of justice against those responsible for said violations is guaranteed.”

To watch the video of this intervention, click here (and go to 02 :27 :20).

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