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Mongolia Must Ensure Basic Rights During Emergency

Mongolia must ensure basic human rights during state of emergency - UN

3 July 2008 - United Nations human rights officials have called on authorities in Mongolia, where a state of emergency has been imposed in the wake of post-electoral violence, to exercise restraint and ensure that fundamental human rights are protected.

President Nambar Enkhbayar declared a four-day state of emergency on 1 July in response to the violence that broke out in the capital, Ulan Bator, following last weekend's parliamentary elections.

There have been reports of at least five deaths, numerous injuries and around 700 protestors detained in recent days, as demonstrators took to the streets after it was announced that the ruling party won Sunday's polls.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on the authorities "to exercise the utmost restraint, to ensure that due process is followed in the case of any detentions, and that the incidents leading to deaths and injuries be properly investigated."

OHCHR noted that Mongolia is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that fundamental rights, such as the right to life, the prohibition on torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, cannot be suspended even in times of emergency.

"Any restrictions of other rights in such circumstances must be officially proclaimed and may only be applied to the extent and duration strictly warranted by the circumstances," the Office said.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also urged all parties to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue to resolve the current crisis, in a statement issued by his spokesperson yesterday.

ENDS

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