12 March 2019

Cameroon: Council Should Act On Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Cameroon, and the Philippines

Photo: Emmanuel Kwizera/New Times
Tibor Nagy, United States Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, delivers his keynote address at Carnegie Mellon University yesterday.
press release

While the Council has several critical situations on its agenda, we are alarmed that the crises in many countries deepen while the Council stands idly by.

Civic space in Bahrain has continued to shrink as prominent rights defenders, journalists and opposition leaders are harshly punished for rights activism or criticizing the authorities.

In Egypt, police systematically use torture, arbitrary arrests, and enforced disappearances to silence political dissent under the guise of combatting terrorism. Authorities are actively dismantling independent civil society through restrictive legislation, detaining journalists, censoring websites, and prosecuting rights defenders.

Turkey remains the world leader in jailing journalists with more than 180 reporters, writers, and media workers in pretrial detention facing terrorism charges.

Violence escalated in Cameroon after protests broke out in 2016, and the authorities responded with rampant rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, torture of detainees, extrajudicial executions, and the burning of homes and property.

Accountability for the tens of thousands of extrajudicial killings in President Duterte's murderous "war on drugs" in the Philippines remains virtually non-existent, and repression of government critics and rights defenders continues to rise.

In none of these countries has the Council taken action to put in place monitoring and reporting or investigations. This failure is magnified when we recall that almost all of these countries are sitting Council members, meant to uphold the highest standards of human rights. We call upon states to give these situations the response they deserve. The Council's credibility depends on it, just as thousands of victims and survivors on the ground depend on this Council.

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