At the ongoing 37th Human Rights Council, the European Union’s Special Representative for Human Rights Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis released a statement on behalf of the EU High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherini wherein, he expressed deep concern over the “worrying signs of a gradual erosion in the international consensus built around the UN Declaration of Human Rights”.
The EU statement raised concerns over “the continuing grave and systematic violations of human rights” in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, Myanmar, and Syria.
The EU voiced concerns over China’s act of arbitrary arrests and detention of human rights defenders and lawyers, which is a violation of the 70 year-old Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It further conveyed the EU’s support to the “brave and steadfast individuals who stood for human rights” including Tashi Wangchuk, stating, “The freedom of opinion and expression, including Tashi Wangchuk should be upheld.”
Mr. Lamdrinidis further emphasized the importance of human rights defenders. “Countless human rights defenders have been incredibly effective in giving voice to those who suffer from repression and challenge injustice, oppression and brutality in many parts of the world,” Mr. Lambrinidis said in the statement while affirming the EU’s commitment in “supporting the free space of civil society to operate”.
The EU Special Representative further stresses the importance of human rights evaluation of minorities around the world. “At some point in our lives, we are all minorities. If, when in the majority, we are tolerant when ‘minorities’ we may not ‘like,’ or that may not be ‘like us,’ are repressed, then beware: We are opening the floodgates to our own future repression and discrimination as well.”
Reiterating EU High Representative Mogherini’s words, the statement said, “Human rights defenders you are not alone and European Union will always be with you.”
The 37th Human Rights Council is held from 26 February to 23 March, 2018.
– UN, EU & Human Rights Desk –