NGOS TELL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS OF FURTHER ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSES AROUND GLOBE
Commission on Human Rights
3 April 2003
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) carried on this afternoon with debate under the Commission on Human Rights’ agenda item on the “Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world”, contending, among other things, that Governments were using anti-terrorism measures unfairly as a means of clamping down on the legitimate activities of political opposition groups, minorities, foreigners and migrant workers.
Among those speaking were representatives of the following NGOs: Femmes Africa Solidarit speaking on behalf of others organisations; Mdecins du monde – international; American Association of Jurists; Society for Threatened Peoples; Andean Commission of Jurists; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; Catholic Institute for International Relations; Asian Legal Resource Centre; North South XXI; Liberation; General Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventists; International Union of Socialist Youth; International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations; International Fellowship of Reconciliation; International Human Rights Law Group; International Association Against Torture; December Twelfth Movement International Secretariat; Christian Democratic International; Liberal International; Association tunisienne des droits de l’enfant; Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Among Peoples; Amnesty International; International Pen; International Association for the Defence of Religious Liberty; Interfaith International; Comit international pour le respect et l’application de la charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples; International Human Rights Association of American Minorities; Aliran Kesedaran Negara – National Consciousness Movement; Rural Reconstruction Nepal; France Libert’s – Fondation Danielle Mitterrand; Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees; International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; Organization for Defending Victims of Violence; Islamic Women’s Institute of Iran; International Movement for Fraternal Union Among Races and Peoples; International Possibilities Unlimited; International Indian Treaty Council; and International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations.
TIMOTHY GILL, of Asian Legal Resource Centre, drew the attention of the Commission to the findings of the Concerned Citizens Tribunal – Gujarat 2002. The Tribunal was formed in response to the anti-Muslim carnage in the state of Gujarat, India, during February and March 2002. Hundreds of people were killed, women and children were sexually abused in the most horrific ways, and an enormous amount of property was destroyed.
What occurred in Gujarat was not mere rioting. It was a crime against humanity meticulously organized by militant nationalist groups operating under the aegis of the state Government. Elected officials, including cabinet ministers, had led the attacks on Muslims. They coordinated the attacks by mobile phone. The Commission must bring its will to bear on the Government of India to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime against humanity were brought to justice. This was imperative not only for ensuring the safety of the people of Gujarat but also for ensuring the very integrity of the Commission.