UN Human rights council will discuss report of the UN Secretary General on the problem of persecution for cooperation with United Nations Organization (UNO), its representatives and human rights institutions during the 24th regular session of the organization on September 9-27, 2013. One of the topics of the report is the law on “foreign agents” and persecution of Russian NGOs, including ADC “Memorial”, for provision of an alternative report to the UN Committee against torture.
52. It is primarily the obligation of States to protect those who cooperate with the United Nations in the field of human rights and to ensure that they may do so safely and without hindrance. In this context, I reiterate my previous recommendations for action at the national level, including through the adoption of appropriate legislation, by publicly condemning acts of reprisal and intimidation, ensuring accountability in relation to the majority of reported cases of reprisal, conducting effective and impartial investigations and bringing perpetrators to justice, and providing victims with remedies. I also encourage States to respond to allegations of intimidation and reprisal, and to cooperate with the United Nations regarding such acts.
53. The international community should act to address cases of reprisal in a coherent and systematic manner and use the various tools it has at its disposal. International and regional human rights mechanisms are crucial in this context, and I welcome their enhanced coordination. The panel discussion addressed some recommendations specifically for the United Nations Secretariat, such as:
• To make information on how to submit allegations of reprisals more accessible
• The creation of a central database on cases of reprisals
• The appointment of a mediator or ombudsman to act as a focal point of the
United Nations system for cases of intimidation and reprisal These should be thoroughly examined and considered.
55. As reiterated at the above-mentioned Conference, the need to protect human rights defenders against undue interference and reprisals, including ensuring their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and their access to funding, persists. Many of us, in particular those seeking to advance human rights within the United Nations, rely on their work. I thank civil society organizations for their tireless and dedicated work. I also thank them for contributing to the present report, and encourage them to continue to do so.