Equatorial Guinea: Human Rights Committee Adopts Its Annual Report and Closes Its One-Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Session

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Adopts Concluding Observations on the Situation in the Netherlands, Tajikistan, Nigeria, Mauritania, Paraguay and Equatorial Guinea

26 July 2019 - The Human Rights Committee this afternoon closed its one hundred and twenty-sixth session after adopting concluding observations and recommendations on the situation in the Netherlands, Tajikistan, Nigeria, Mauritania, Paraguay and Equatorial Guinea. The Committee also adopted its annual report.

Ahmed Amin Fathalla, Committee Chairperson, said the Committee had had a productive session: it had considered the reports of the Netherlands, Tajikistan, Mauritania and Paraguay, and had also considered the situation in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria in the absence of a report. The concluding observations related to the six States parties had been made public yesterday. The advance unedited versions had been available on the webpage of the Committee since then.

The Committee had adopted four lists of issues prior to reporting for the following States parties: Chile, Cyprus, India and the Republic of Korea. It had also adopted two lists of issues in relation to the periodic reports of Portugal and Uzbekistan. In addition, it had adopted a follow-up report on concluding observations that highlighted important progress made in five countries across the regions.

With regard to individual communications, the Committee had considered 48 draft decisions, seven of which had been considered in dual chambers. Out of the 48 decisions adopted, 29 were decided on the merits, 12 cases were declared inadmissible, and seven were discontinued. Regarding the cases decided on the merits, the Committee had found violations in 26 of them and non-violation in three.

Mr. Fathalla said that, following its half day of discussion on article 21 in March, which dealt with the right to peaceful assembly, the Committee had commenced during this session its first reading of the draft General Comment 37 prepared by Committee Member and Rapporteur Christof Heyns. Upon the completion of the first reading of the draft General Comment, all stakeholders -including Member States- would be invited to provide their comments. The Committee expected to adopt a final text by the end of next year. Turning to the 2020 review, the Chair stated that the Committee had adopted an important decision on additional measures to simplify the reporting procedure and increase predictability. More precisely, the Committee had decided to move in 2020 to a predictable review cycle in order to improve predictability in reporting and ensure regular reporting by all States parties, as well as shift from an opt-in model of simplified reporting procedure to an opt-out model. Furthermore, it would introduce the simplified reporting procedure for initial reports and continue its efforts to align its methods of work and the lists of issues it produced with that of other treaty bodies.

The Committee adopted the annual report as a whole.

All the documents relating to the Committee's work, including reports submitted by States parties, can be found on the session's webpage, while concluding observations and recommendations issued on the situation in the Netherlands, Tajikistan, Nigeria, Mauritania, Paraguay and Equatorial Guinea can be found here.

The one hundred and twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Committee will take place from 14 October to 8 November 2019, when it is scheduled to consider the reports of Belgium, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Czech Republic, Mexico and Senegal.

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