Lebanon: 10 Human Rights Organisations Call Upon the Authorities to Accept the Visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

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On 11 August 2016, Alkarama together with nine Lebanese human rights organisations sent a letter to the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil, to call upon him to accept the request made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (SR IJL) Mónica Pinto to visit Lebanon in 2016.

In March 2011, upon recommendations accepted during the November 2010 Universal Periodic Review, the Lebanese government extended a standing invitation  to all United Nations Special Procedures – independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective  – amongst which the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. By doing so, the Government committed to always accept requests for country visits by UN experts.

The 10 undersigned organisations therefore demanded the Lebanese government to uphold this commitment and accept the request for visit submitted by the UN Special Rapporteur Mónica Pinto  on 18 November 2015  and facilitate her visit in 2016. The NGOs added that such a visit would allow for an objective assessment of the functioning of the justice system and provide useful recommendations to pave the way forward.

The mandate for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (SR IJL) was created in 1994 as a response to the increasing attacks on the independence of judges, lawyers and members of the judiciary, and their impact on human rights violations. In order to fulfil its mandate, amongst others, the Special Rapporteur can inquire into allegations of violations transmitted to it, identify ways and means to improve the judicial system, issue reports on specific topics related to its mandate and carry out country visits.

Signatories:
1. Alkarama Foundation (ALK)
2. ALEF - Act for Human Rights
3. Association of justice and mercy (AJEM)
4. Lebanese Centre for Human Rights (CLDH)
5. Legal Agenda
6. Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for victims of torture
7. Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO)
8. Proud Lebanon
9. Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture
10. The Lebanese Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (LIFE).

For more information or an interview, please contact media@alkarama.org (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).

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