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Use Of Force Spreads Summary Executions Continue

Arbitrary Use Of Force Spreads, Summary Executions Continue - UN Rights Experts

United Nations human rights experts addressing the Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights are warning of a global upsurge in illegal killings as well as the emerging threat of torture being used against persons with HIV/AIDS.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Asma Jahangir, told the meeting yesterday that she had recently seen a disturbing trend towards the indiscriminate use of force on all continents, and voiced deep concern that there had been no improvement with regard to the unlawful slaughter of civilians.

In addition, Ms. Jahangir said she was disturbed at reports received in the last year from at least five countries where aerial bombardment or firing had been used to kill civilians or suspected terrorists. Even in the face of tough challenges, governments could not derogate from their obligation to respect the right to life, she added.

She also announced that at the invitation of the Khartoum Government, she would carry out a mission in June to Sudan's Darfur region, where reports indicate a deteriorating human rights situation.

Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan paid tribute to Ms. Jahangir, saying she had shown outstanding commitment to the mandate granted her over the years and had worked tirelessly to give voice to the pleas of victims while continuing dialogues with governments in defence of the right to life.

She had successfully widened her mandate, including through her thorough understanding of gender issues, and had raised awareness of violations of the right to life of women, denouncing States responsible for abuses as well as those that condoned them. Violations of the right to life of individuals because of their life choices had also drawn her attention and her activities had raised awareness of this oft-overlooked violation, Mr. Ramcharan added.

Also addressing the Commission, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Theo van Boven, said his work would have a limited impact unless regular follow-up methods were improved.

In his written report, Mr. van Boven pointed to a disturbing new trend: the fact that, HIV/AIDS victims suffering discrimination in some societies had become possible targets for torture. He called for integrating HIV/AIDS-related human rights protection in future activities.

Reporting on a UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, Ivan Tosevski, who chairs its Board of Trustees said more than 200 projects had requested financing in the amount of $13.3 million, but only $1,067,037 in contributions was available.

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