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Briefing Notes - Ecuador; Iraq Israel

Briefing Notes - Ecuador; Iraq Israel

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Marta Hurtado
Location: Geneva

Date: 29 November 2019

Subject: (1) Ecuador
(2) Iraq
(3) Israel


1) Ecuador

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday urged all actors in Ecuador to engage in dialogue to prevent new conflicts and forge an inclusive, peaceful society with full respect for its multicultural nature.

The High Commissioner also called for independent, impartial and transparent investigations into allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed in Ecuador during the protests from 3 to 13 October –including killings, violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, arbitrary detentions, as well as looting and destruction of public and private property.

The full press release by the High Commissioner is available here:

In English: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25368&LangID=E

In Spanish: https://www.ohchr.org/SP/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25368&LangID=S

2) Iraq

We are deeply disturbed by the continued killing and wounding of protestors in Iraq, including the latest casualties during the extremely violent events over the past two days in Nassariya, during which, according to verification carried out by UNAMI human rights staff, at least 24 people were killed and more than 210 injured. A number of people were also killed and injured in Najaf, but we have not yet been able to verify the extent of casualties there.

The overall number of casualties verified by the UN since protests began at the beginning of October now stands at 354 dead and 8,104 injured. The actual total is likely to be higher.

Once again we urge the Iraqi authorities to take much firmer and more effective action to ensure security forces do not employ excessive use of force, and in particular use of live ammunition, as they have been doing repeatedly since the protests began. There must also be investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for unlawful killings.


3) Israel

Yesterday, the High Commissioner met with Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch who was compelled to leave Israel on 25 November 2019, after the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Government’s decision to not renew his visa. The High Commissioner deeply regrets this decision, which both the UN Human Rights Office and a group of three UN Special Rapporteurs* had urged the Government to reverse in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. The expulsion of Mr Shakir casts a shadow over Israel’s commitments to freedom of expression and freedom of association, as well as over the ability of human rights defenders and organisations to carry out their important work. The Special Rapporteurs pointed out that the freedoms of expression and association protect the expression of support for, or opposition to, movements such as the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), which do not incite discrimination, violence or hostility.

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