Cablegate: Sr On Human Rights Defenders Request Information

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Mission received the following communication from Hina
Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary General on
the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, requesting
information for her final report to the Commission on Human
Rights. This communication has been forwarded to IO/SHA via
e-mail and is number 28 on the Geneva 2005 Communications

2. Begin text of letter:

Reference: G/SO 214(107-4)

2 September 2005


I am writing in my capacity as Special Representative of the
United Nations Secretary-General on the situation of human
rights defenders, pursuant to resolutions 2000/61 and
2003/64 of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

I would like to refer to my communication dated 2 June 2005
which I addressed to all United Nations Member States,
including your Excellency's Government. As explained in
this communication, my final report to the Commission on
Human Rights, due in April 2006, will evaluate the
implementation of the Declaration on the Right and
Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society
to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms (the Declaration on human rights
defenders) within United Nations Member States. The report,
which will include a country-by-country review, is aimed at
identifying main areas of progress and main problems that
need to be addressed.

For this purpose, I requested Governments, National Human
Rights Institutions, regional intergovernmental
organizations and non-governmental human rights
organizations to provide me with relevant information on
this matter. Once processed and summarized, this
information would be reflected in my report. I have so far
received valuable information from some governmental and non-
governmental sources.

In this regard, I would like to refer to the resolution
2005/67 of the Commission on Human Rights, entitled "Human
rights defenders," which inter alia:

Urges all States to cooperate with the Special
Representative in the performance of her tasks and to
furnish all information for the fulfilment of her mandate
upon request" (para. 9) and
"Urges those States that have not yet responded to the
communications transmitted to them by the Special
Representative to answer without further delay" (para. 11)

I would be very grateful if your Government would also
collaborate to the preparation of the above-mentioned report
by sending its responses to the brief questionnaire that is
in the annex of this letter. I would like to draw your
attention to question 3, as it has been added at a later
stage. I would greatly appreciate receiving these responses
at your earliest possible convenience, and preferably no
later than 30 September 2005. Responses can be addressed to
me at the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights,
United Nations Office at Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Switzerland. Ideally, responses will be sent both by postal
mail and also by email to

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest

Hina Jilani
Special Representative of the Secretary General on the
situation of human rights defenders

End text of letter.

3. Begin questionnaire:

Questions on the respect and implementation of the
Declaration of human rights defenders

The seven questions listed below have been selected
carefully so that responses to them should provide a good
overview of the Declaration's implementation, and an
indication of the main areas of progress and main problems.
Answers should take into consideration both the provisions
and principles of the Declaration on human rights defenders.
A link to, and brief commentary of, the declaration can be
viewed at ation.htm.
Answers to questions are only expected to cover priority
issues and not every aspect of the Declarations
implementation. Answers should be as "brief" as possible,
can be submitted in bullet-points if preferred, and should
be organized under each question title. The Special
Representative's report, summarizing responses received,
will be organized under similar headings.

1. The "human rights defenders" community

a. Please briefly describe, with examples, the human rights
defenders community in your country. Please cover
considerations such as: the numbers of human rights
defender organizations; the range of the activities
conducted; the quality, effectiveness and impact of human
rights defenders' work.
b. (If relevant) Please list ways in which the role and
situation of human rights defenders in your country need to
be strengthened and how this can be achieved (e.g. improved
human rights defenders training, greater transparency,
improved protection, etc)

2. Assessment of the current situation of the Declaration's
implementation in the country

[Answers should take into consideration: legislation,
policies, and actions at national and local levels.]

a. Firmly established success in implementing the
Declaration: (if relevant) please summarise, with reference
to brief examples and relevant Articles of the Declaration,
those aspects of the Declaration whose implementation is
firmly established within your country. [For example, you
might consider that the Declaration's Article 5, referring
to the right to association and assembly and communication
between organizations, is well established in your country
because it is widely respected and rarely questioned and
because, where problems arise, these are dealt with in a
fair manner.]

b. Recent progress: (if relevant) please indicate, with
brief examples, the main progress that has been made in
strengthening the Declaration's implementation in your
country over roughly the last 4 years.

c. Remaining problems: (if relevant) please indicate with
brief examples, which of the Declaration's provisions are
not adequately implemented or respected in the country.
What actions would ideally address these problems? Is any
effort currently underway to take such remedial actions?

3. Freedom of association and expression

Please briefly describe the existing legislative framework
in your country regulating the rights to freedom of
association and freedom of expression.

4. Bad practices

(If relevant) Please indicate, with brief examples, the
worst practices affecting implementation of the Declaration
in your country.

5. Good practices

(If relevant) Please indicate, with brief examples, the best
practices affecting implementation of the Declaration in
your country.

6. The contributions of different actors

a. The awareness, commitment and contributions of national
(State) authorities to implementing the Declaration.

b. The awareness commitment and contributions of local
(State) authorities to implementing the Declaration.

c. The awareness, commitment and contributions of human
rights defenders to implementing the Declaration.

d. (If relevant) The awareness, commitment and
contributions of United Nations bodies in the country to
implementing the Declaration.

7. Very briefly, please indicate whether you think respect
for the Declaration (and therefore the role and situation of
human rights defenders) is improving or worsening in your
country. Please indicate what factor you believe are having
the most significant impact in this regard.

End questionnaire.


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