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Submission of information and of complaints from individuals or groups of individuals

In the framework of his/her mandate, the Special Rapporteur receives information on alleged violations of cultural rights. To the limit of available resources, he/she may accordingly write to the concerned government (through a “communication”), either jointly with other special procedure mandate-holders or independently, inviting comment on the allegation, seeking clarification, reminding the Government of its obligations under international law and requesting information, where relevant, on steps being taken by the authorities to redress the situation in question. The Special Rapporteur urges all stakeholders to respond promptly to his/her communications and to take all steps necessary to redress situations involving the violation of cultural rights.

Communications of the Special Rapporteur can take various forms including:

  • Urgent appeals, which are used in cases where the alleged violations are time-sensitive in terms of involving loss of life, life-threatening situations or either imminent or ongoing damage of a very grave nature to victims that cannot be addressed in a timely manner by the procedure of allegation letters.
  • Allegation letters, which are used to communicate information about violations that are said to have already occurred or in cases not covered by urgent appeals.

Submitting a complaint - To see all communications sent by the Special Rapporteur, click here

In order for a complaint to be assessed, the following information is needed:

  • Who is the alleged victim(s) (individual(s), community, group, etc.); Please also indicate whether:
    • The victim(s) has given you his or her consent to send this communication on his or her behalf. Please make sure you obtain the victim’s consent, whenever possible.
    • The victim(s) has been informed that, if the Special Rapporteur decides to take action on his or her behalf, a letter concerning what happened to him or her will be sent to the authorities.
    • The victim(s) is aware that, if this communication is taken up, a summary of what happened to him/her will appear in a public report of the Special Rapporteur.
    • The victim(s) would prefer that his or her full name or merely her initials appear in the public report of the Special Rapporteur.
  • Who is the alleged perpetrator(s) of the violation; Please provide substantiated information on all the actors involved, including non-state actors if relevant.
  • Date, place and detailed description of the circumstances of the incident(s) or the violation, in chronological order; The information submitted can refer to violations that are said to have already occurred, that are ongoing or about to occur. Information should include the legal remedies, if any, taken at the national level or regional level, and any other relevant information, such as relevant legislation, on the various aspects of the case.
  • Identification of the person(s) or organization(s) submitting the communication (this information will be kept confidential); As a general rule, the identity of the source of information on the alleged violation is always kept confidential. When submitting information, please indicate whether there is any of the submitted information which you would like to remain confidential.

It is also recommended to explain in detail why you believe the incident is relevant to the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. For example, which cultural rights are allegedly infringed upon, taking into consideration the relevant international standards, as well as to, where relevant, the thematic reports of the Special Rapporteur?

As a general rule, communications that contain abusive language or that are obviously politically motivated are not considered. Communications should describe the facts of the incident and the relevant details referred to above clearly and concisely. The information should be submitted by any person or group of persons claiming to be victim of violations and/or to have direct or reliable knowledge of those violations.

The Special Rapporteur is open to receiving communications under any format. You may also use our model questionnaire. Annexes such as pictures and copies of documents, etc., can also be included.

Please submit information preferably in English, French or Spanish.

A complaint can be submitted by:

E-mail: urgent-action@ohchr.org or srculturalrights@ohchr.org
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06

or Postal mail:

Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
OHCHR-UNOG
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Follow-up

Communications from the Special Rapporteur to the government are confidential at an initial stage until the letters and the answer of the State are included in the communications reports of Special Procedures, which are submitted to each regular session of the Human Rights Council (in March, June and September).

It is important for the Special Rapporteur to receive updated and relevant information on the situations referred to in the complaints submitted to enable him/her to continue to follow-up on the issue through his/her dialogue with the involved Parties. Person(s) or organization(s) that have submitted information and complaints are urged to consider the response made by Government and to submit their comments, if necessary, to the Special Rapporteur.

Also note that several other individual complaint mechanisms have been established as part of the international human rights system. For more information please visit the Special Procedures page and the Human Rights Bodies-Complaints Procedures page.

Allegations that cover several human rights issues

The Special Rapporteur constantly consults with other Special procedures mandate holders whose own mandates are implicated in a particular case and frequently sends joint letters of concern with these mandate holders.

Complaints addressed by the mandate


In the table below, you will find all the communications the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights has addressed since the establishment of the mandate in 2009. The list is organized in alphabetical order, according to the name of the country. Allegation letters are identified with (AL), urgent appeal with (UA). Most communications are addressed jointly with other Special procedure mandates, and are therefore joint communications, identified with as JAL or JUA.

Original letters and the response received by concerned States can be accessed through the joint communication reports, published on this page: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/CommunicationsreportsSP.aspx

Latest communications:

Country

Date

Type of comm and ref.

Summary of the allegations transmitted  (original language)

Reply from State

Netherlands

28/01/2015

JAL
 NLD 1/2015

Letter requesting information on the reported placement of the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas and Black Pete on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. According to the information received, on 15 January 2015, the Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage, a Government-funded organization, placed the Dutch traditional Sinterklaas and Black Pete festival on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Allegedly, concerned communities, who find the tradition of Black Pete to be offensive, as it perpetuates a negative stereotyped representation of African people and people of African descent, were not informed nor consulted about this process. A previous communication on the same subject was sent on 17 January 2013, see A/HRC/23/51, case no. NLD 1/2013.

x

All communications

Country

Date

Type of comm and ref.

Summary of the allegations transmitted  
(original language)

Reply from State

Published in report

Bahrein

11/07/2014

JUA
BHR 9/2014

Alleged destruction of the Pearl Roundabout monument and related imagery by Government security forces, as well as restricted public access to the site. According to the information received, on 18 March 2011, Government security forces destroyed the Pearl Roundabout monument, which is considered by Bahraini citizens as a symbol of the pro-democratic movement. It is alleged that related imagery, such as the 500 fils coin featuring the image of the Pearl Roundabout, postcards in tourists’ shops, and pictures on official Government websites were removed or taken out of circulation in an effort to erase all memory of the Pearl Roundabout monument. It is further reported that public access to the site is blocked and guarded by the army with signs that the taking of pictures is prohibited. An earlier communication on the same issue was sent on 17 February 2011, see A/HRC/18/51, case no. BHR 1/2011.

 

A/HRC/28/85

Bosnia and Herzegovina

07/02/2014

JAL
BIH 1/2014

Alleged violent disruption of the Queer Festival Merlinka in Sarajevo. According to the information received, on 1 February 2014, a group of unidentified individuals reportedly stormed the Art Cinema Kriterion in Sarajevo where the aforementioned festival was taking place. They shouted hateful remarks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons (LGBT). They then physically assaulted three attendees who sustained minor physical injuries, and psychologically traumatised over 25 other attendees who were subsequently moved to safe locations in the city. A couple of hours prior to the attack, the organizers had reported to the police a series of threats against the festival made on Facebook. However, the police failed to provide protection to the organizers and participants, despite reassurances that police officers would be deployed during different events of the festival. Serious concerns are expressed about the violent disruption of the Queer Festival Merlinka and the ongoing harassment of LGBT persons in the country.

x

A/HRC/26/21

Brazil

20/04/2011

AL
BRA 2/2011

Allegation that cultural festival will cease to exist due to the building of a luxury condominium. According to information received, the Festa da Lavadeira (“Washerwoman Festival”), which has been held each year for the last 25 years on 1st May in Paiva Beach, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco State, will cease to take place due to the building of a luxury condominium on that beach. This festival reportedly gathers groups of varied popular cultures, it is a religious expression of followers of African-Brazilian religions, and it was recognized as the cultural heritage of the people of Pernambuco. Three business groups (Ordebrecht Real Estate, Cornélio Brennand and Ricardo Brennand) are said to have teamed up to build a luxury condominium along the Beach of Paiva. Allegedly, since 2005, these groups have attempted to prevent the conduct of the festival.

 

A/HRC/18/51

China

22/10/2010

UA
CHN 25/2010

Restrictions in the use of Tibetan language in schools

X

-

 

09/08/2012

JUA
CHN 8/2012

Alleged systematic undermining of the autonomous functions and the rights to freedom of religion, culture and expression of the Tibetan Buddhist community. According to the information received, new management policies of the monasteries and patriotic re-education or legal education campaigns in the Tibet Autonomous Region have led to the closure of monasteries and the violation of freedom of religion or belief. Tibetans are allegedly restrained from observing certain religious holidays or celebrations. Furthermore, there have reportedly been 46 cases of self-immolation since 2009; about 600 Tibetans were detained after the first incident of self-immolation in Lhasa while several hundreds of Tibetans were expelled from Lhasa. There were also reports of the arrests of Tibetan pilgrims who attended a ten-day teaching - the Kalachakra Initiation- given by the Dalai Lama in India. As many as 64 Tibetan intellectuals, including artists, writers, singers and teachers were allegedly arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression and participation in cultural life especially after March 2008.  Allegedly, the whereabouts of 37 of the detained intellectuals, including artists, are unknown.

x

A/HRC/22/67

 

03/02/2014

JUA
CHN 1/2014

Alleged arrest and detention of ten Tibetan singers and musicians. According to the information received, artists Gongpo Tsezin, Trinley Tsekar, Kelsang Yarphel, Lolo, Pema Trinley, Chakdor, Khenrap, Nyagdompo, Shawo Tashi, and Achok Phulshung are either currently being detained or their fate and whereabouts are unknown. It is alleged that these artists have been arrested in connection with their songs supporting Tibetan culture and reflecting the situation in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Serious concerns are expressed that the alleged arbitrary arrest and detention or enforced disappearance of the aforementioned 10 Tibetan singers and musicians may be linked to their legitimate human rights activities. The Tibetan singer Lolo was the subject of an earlier communication sent on 9 August 2012, see A/HRC/22/67/Corr.2, case no. CHN 8/2012.

X

A/HRC/26/21

El Salvador

25/11/2013

AL
SLV 2/2013

Presunto cierre de la Oficina de Tutela Legal (Tutela Legal) de la Arquidiócesis de San Salvador y de su archivo que contendría información sobre casos de violaciones a los derechos humanos, incluyendo desapariciones forzadas. Según la información recibida, el día 30 de septiembre de 2013, la Arquidiócesis de San Salvador decretó el cierre de la Oficina de Tutela Legal de dicho Arzobispado. Se expresa preocupación por la protección de los aproximadamente 50.000 archivos en poder de Tutela Legal y por la preservación de la confidencialidad de los datos que contiene. Se señala la importancia del resguardo del Archivo, por el riesgo que podría representar para numerosas víctimas, familiares y testigos y para la promoción de la verdad, la justicia, la reparación y las garantías de no-repetición. La decisión de cerrar la Oficina de Tutela Legal ocurre diez días después de la admisión por la Sala de lo Constitucional de una demanda de inconstitucional contra la Ley de Amnistía General para la Consolidación de la Paz; proceso que podría permitir la apertura de procesos judiciales y en el marco de los cuales la documentación y archivos de la Oficina de Tutela Legal podrían jugar un rol central.

x

A/HRC/25/74

Georgia

09/09/2014

JAL
GEO 1/2014

Alleged involuntary resettlement of an estimated 1,700 to 2,500 inhabitants of the upper Svaneti region, including a large number of individuals and families from the Svan minority ethnic subgroup. According to the information received, the Government of Georgia plans to resume the construction of the Khudoni hydropower plant in the Enguri River gorge on the territory of the Mestia municipality in upper Svaneti, four kilometres south of the village of Khaishi, Georgia. It is reported that the construction will flood at least 1,500 hectares of forest and agricultural land along with the village of Khaishi, which is the administrative centre of a number of villages in the area. Concern is expressed that the residents of the Upper Svaneti region will face violations of their right to an adequate standard of living, including food and housing, and their right to take part in cultural life as a result of the construction of Khudoni dam and their resettlement.

x

A/HRC/28/85

Iran

16/01/2013

AL
IRN 2/2013

Alleged imprisonment for releasing songs critical of the Government. According to the information received, Mr. Arya (Mohammad) Aramnejad, who already served a six-month prison sentence in 2011–2012, was convicted again in January 2012 for “propaganda against the state system”. He was allegedly imprisoned at the Babol prison (Mari Kala Babol), where he was to serve a 91 day prison term.

 

A/HRC/23/51

 

16/10/2014

JUA
IRN 24/2014

Alleged arrest, detention, and sentencing of seven individuals for exercising their right to freedom of expression, including in the form of art, and their right to take part in cultural life without discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. On 19 May 2014, Iranian police officers arrested Mr. Sassan Soleimani, Ms. Reyhaneh Taravadi, Ms. Neda Motameni, Ms. Afshin Sohrabi, Mr. Bardia Moradi, and Mr. Roham Shamekhi for appearing in a video. They were released on bail the following day after a publicized forced apology. On 18 September 2014, they were sentenced to prison terms ranging between six months and one year, with a suspension for three years, as well as to 91 lashes each. On 20 June 2014, Ms. Ghoncheh Gavami, a British-Iranian national was arrested outside the Azadi Stadium in Iran, for protesting against the State’s ban on Iranian women watching volleyball and football games in stadiums. She was initially held in Vozara Detention Centre before her transfer to Evin Prison, Tehran, where she was held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for 41 days. On 1 October 2014, she went on hunger strike in protest of her continued detention.

 

A/HRC/28/85

 

 

Israel

26/05/2011

JAL
ISR 4/2011

Alleged threats of forced displacement and discrimination against the Bedouin of the West Bank. According to the information received, the Bedouin of the West Bank were displaced from their tribal lands in the Negev desert in 1948. They are allegedly continuously exposed to the threat of forced displacement and discrimination, and live in an area of the occupied West Bank trapped between the policies of the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. They are allegedly prevented from enjoying the minimum requirements of a dignified life, including lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Community representatives report that the Bedouin are no longer allowed to visit their relatives in the Negev. The rangeland and water that the Bedouin depend on for their livestock has reportedly become fragmented by the establishment of closed military areas, Israeli settlements, nature reserves, check points and the West Bank Barrier.

x

A/HRC/18/51

 

14/10/2014

JUA
ISR 10/2014

Alleged imminent risk of forced eviction and transfer of Palestinian Bedouin communities, acts prohibited under international human rights and humanitarian law. According to the information received, Palestinian Bedouin communities currently residing in the central West Bank, including the East Jerusalem periphery, are at imminent risk of forced eviction and transfer to three urbanized sites at Al Jabal, Nuweima and Fasayil in the Jerusalem and Jericho Governorates of the West Bank, as a result of steps being taken by the Government of Israel to relocate them.  Between 5,000 and 11,000 individuals are considered to be at risk of relocation to these sites.

 

A/HRC/28/85

Libya

05/09/2012

JUA
LBY 2/2012

Alleged destruction of religious and historic sites, desecration of graves, intimidation and the excessive use of force against protesters.  According to the information received, attacks on Sufi sites in Tripoli began in October 2011. In late August, some armed assailants reportedly launched a series of attacks destroying Sidi Abdul- Salam al-Asmar al-Fituri, Asmariya Islamic University complex, al-Sha'ab Mosque, shrine of Sheik Ahmad Zaruq, Gurgi Mosque, Uthman Pasha Madrassa and desecrating Sufi Muslim graves in Tripoli, Misurata, Derna and Zliten. The Ministry of the Interior had allegedly “authorised” the operation and maintained that the Supreme Security Council (SSC) forces did not seek to stop the demolition in order to “maintain order” and to avoid violence.  It was reported that peaceful protestors of the demolition of the Al-Sha’ab mosque were obstructed from protesting by armed men while several demonstrators were physically threatened and intimidated. Nabil Shebani, a journalist from the Libyan television station, Alassema, was also reported to be detained whilst attempting to report on the destruction of the Al-Sha’ab mosque. An imam of a Tripoli mosque, Ashraf Jerbi, who took part in the protest, was physically intimidated and subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by Libyan security forces after being detained.

x

A/HRC/22/67

Malaysia

27/05/2014

JAL
MYS 4/2014

Alleged systematic persecution and discrimination against Shi’a Muslims in Malaysia. According to the information received, on 21 April 2014, Mr. Mohd Kamilzuhairi Abdul Aziz, a Shi’a religious cleric, was arrested by police during a peaceful religious meeting in Taman Sri Gombak. On 9 April 2014, a novel written by Mr. Mohd Faizal Musa was banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs in order to stop Shi’a propaganda. The ban appears to be imposed as a result of the 1996 fatwa issued by the National Council for Islamic Affairs, which declared Shi’a school of Islam as a deviant sect and any production, broadcast and distribution of any books, pamphlets, films and video deviating from the Sunni teaching as haram (forbidden).

 

A/HRC/27/72

Mali

09/07/2012

JUA
MLI 1/2012

Alleged destruction of cultural and religious sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, as well as the ban on music by Ansar Dine group in the cities of Timbuktu, Gao and Kida. According to the information received, on 1 July 2012, the armed members of Ansar Dine group attacked a cemetery located in the south of Timbuktu in the suburb of the eponymous Djingareyber mosque built in 1327 and destroyed the tombs of Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi Moctar and Alpha Moya. On the following day, they attacked Cheikh el-Kebir's mausoleum. The western gate of Sidi Yahia mosque was also destroyed. Ansar Dine spokesman allegedly claimed that the group was acting in the name of God and threatened to destroy every mausoleum in the city without exception. Reportedly, the Ansar Dine group also issued a ban on music in Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal as soon as they took control of these areas in April 2012.

 

A/HRC/22/67

Morocco

17/07/2014

JUA
MAR 3/2014

Condamnation alléguée d’un bloggeur et rappeur à quatre mois de détention, en raison de l’exercice de sa liberté d’expression artistique et de son implication dans le mouvement pro-démocratique au Maroc. Selon les informations reçues, M. Mouad Belghouate, bloggeur et rappeur renommé critiquant ouvertement la corruption au Maroc et dénonçant les brutalités policières, a été condamné à quatre mois de détention le 1er juillet 2014. Ceci est la troisième condamnation de M. Belghouate à une peine de prison depuis 2011, en vertu de procédures judiciaires qui ne seraient pas respectueuses du droit à un procès équitable. Des préoccupations sont exprimées relatives au fait que les condamnations dont a fait l’objet M. Belghouate seraient liées à l’exercice de son droit à la liberté d’opinion et d’expression y compris sous une forme artistique et de son droit de participer à la vie culturelle, et à son travail pacifique œuvrant pour les droits de l’homme au Maroc.

x

A/HRC/28/85

 

31/11/2014

JAL
MAR 7/2014

Allégations de détention, d’actes de torture et de mauvais traitements, et d’exécution sommaire d’un militant des droits de l’homme et activiste politique sahraoui. Selon les informations reçues, M. Hassanna al-Wali a été arrêté le 5 janvier 2012 par les forces policières marocaines au siège de la police à Dakhla. Le jour suivant, M. al-Wali aurait été emprisonné et soumis à diverses formes de torture par les forces de sécurité. Malgré son mauvais état de santé, l’accès à des soins médicaux lui aurait été refusé. Lorsqu’il a enfin été transféré à un hôpital, M. al-Wali serait tombé dans un coma à la suite du traitement médical qu’il aurait reçu. M. al-Wali serait décédé trois jours plus tard. Ces violations feraient partie d’une tendance plus générale de violations systématiques commises par les autorités marocaines à l’encontre de militants sahraouis.

x

A/HRC/28/85

Netherlands

17/01/2013

JAL
NLD 1/2013

Allegation that the Dutch celebration of Black Pete, also known as “Swarte Piet”, which, each year, is part of the Saint Nicholas Event (5 December), and precedes and accompanies the celebration of Santa Claus, perpetuates a stereotyped image of African people and people of African descent. According to the information received, proposals have been made to declare the Dutch Cultural Historical Tradition “Santa Claus and Black Pete” as Immaterial Cultural Heritage, and the Dutch authorities have selected the annual Saint Nicolas Event (December 5) as one of the intangible heritages to be submitted for inclusion in the UNESCO list.

x

A/HRC/23/51

 

28/01/2015

JAL
NLD 1/2015

Letter requesting information on the reported placement of the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas and Black Pete on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. According to the information received, on 15 January 2015, the Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Intangible Heritage, a Government-funded organization, placed the Dutch traditional Sinterklaas and Black Pete festival on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Allegedly, concerned communities, who find the tradition of Black Pete to be offensive, as it perpetuates a negative stereotyped representation of African people and people of African descent, were not informed nor consulted about this process. A previous communication on the same subject was sent on 17 January 2013, see A/HRC/23/51, case no. NLD 1/2013.

x

A/HRC/29/50

Pakistan

07/03/2014

JAL
PAK 3/2014

Alleged undue restrictions of the right to freedom of association contained in the Foreign Contributions Bill (2013). According to the information received, the Bill, which regulates the utilization of foreign contributions by national and international non-governmental organizations, imposes undue restrictions on such recipients. Such provisions concern, inter alia, the registration, suspension or cancellation of certificates; auditing/monitoring of these organizations, as well as restrictions on the utilization of foreign contributions they receive; and limitation on activities they intend to pursue.

 

A/HRC/27/72

Al Qatar

21/12/2012

JAL
QAT 1/2012

Alleged sentencing to life imprisonment of a Qatari poet for writing and reciting poems criticizing the Amir of Qatar and praising the Tunisian revolutions. According to the information received, Mr. Mohammed al-Ajami, also known as Mr. Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Criminal Court in Doha on 29 November 2012. The case against him was based on a poem which he wrote in 2010, criticizing Sheikh Tamim Al Thani. Mr. al-Ajami had been reportedly held in solitary confinement throughout his detention and his trial has been marred by a series of irregularities, including a number of court sessions held in secret and lack of access to the trial by Mr. al-Ajami’s defense lawyer of choice.

X

A/HRC/23/51

Russia

11/05/2012

JUA
RUS 2/2012

Alleged detention of band members of ‘Pussy Riot’ in Moscow on the charge of “hooliganism”. According to the information received, on 4 March 2012, Ms. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ms. Maria Alekhina were arrested and charged with hooliganism for allegedly performing a punk prayer at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Reportedly, Ms. Ekaterina Samutsevich was arrested on 15 March 2012 and charged with similar offence. Since their arrest, some of their family members, some people supporting them as well as one of their lawyers allegedly received threats. On 19 April 2012, Tagansky Court in Moscow had reportedly extended the detention of the three women to 24 June 2012.

X

A/HRC/22/67

Singapore

21/11/2012

JAL
SGP 2/2012

Alleged planned building of an eight-lane highway through the Bukit Brown Cemetery. According to information received, the Bukit Brown Cemetery, which is of remarkable natural, cultural and historical value, enables people to build a sense of identity and belonging to the region, is used as a space for the living cultural practices of people, is an important recreational and leisure space with a unique combination of heritage and nature, and provides a valuable database for researchers and scholars. In September 2011, the Government of Singapore reportedly announced the construction of a new road through the Bukit Brown Cemetery to relieve traffic congestion; the decision taken by the Government to build the road was allegedly not preceded by a meaningful consultation process.

x

A/HRC/22/67

 

29/05/2012

AL
SGP 3/2012

Alleged cancellation of a play read and book launch at the Substation Theatre that was scheduled to take place on 26 August 2012. According to information received, the Substation Theatre informed the organizers of the event that there had been queries by representatives of the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Internal Security Department (ISD) and pressures to cancel the event.  The exact reasons for the cancellation have not been communicated to the organizers of the event. It is also alleged that the play originally commissioned for a festival in 2013 has now been taken off the programme, based on the advice of the National Arts Council

x

A/HRC/23/51

Syria

22/01/2014

JUA
SYR 2/2014

Alleged arrest and detention of a political cartoonist.  According to the information received, Mr. Akram Raslan, a cartoonist working for Al-Fida newspaper, was arrested without an arrest warrant on 2 October 2012 by the Syrian Military Intelligence in the city of Hama.  The arrest reportedly occurred after he posted political cartoons critical of President Bashar Al-Assad on Facebook.  On 26 July 2013, Mr. Raslan was reportedly put on secret trial and sentenced to life imprisonment on account of, inter alia, insulting the country’s president. While Mr. Raslan had reportedly been held incommunicado since his arrest, there were conflicting reports about Mr. Raslan’s fate and whereabouts, including that he may have been executed. 

x

A/HRC/26/21

Thailand

15/03/2013

JAL
THA 2/2013

Alleged prohibited distribution in Thailand of the film Shakespeare Must Die produced by Mr. Manit Sriwanichpoom and written and directed by Ms. Smanrat Kanjanavanit. According to information received, on 3 April 2012, the Third Committee of Film and Video Censorship Board issued a banning order prohibiting the distribution of the movie, which is as adaptation in Thai-language of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is alleged that the Censorship Board deemed that the movie “has content that causes disunity among the people of the nation”, and that the filmmakers did not agree to re-shoot the scenes that were the subject of the Third Committee’s various objections. It is alleged that the banning of the film is politically motivated.

x

A/HRC/25/74         A/HRC/24/21

Tunisia

05/07/2012

JUA
TUN 2/2012

Allégations relatives à des atteintes commises à l’encontre des libertés artistique et académique en Tunisie, sous la pression notamment de groupes dits « salafistes ». Selon les informations reçues, de graves incidents, impliquant violences et menaces contre des artistes et des membres du personnel académique, se seraient produits, en juin 2012 à l’occasion de la tenue de la foire d’art contemporain « Le printemps des Arts », de même que, depuis la fin de l’année 2011, au sein de divers établissements d’enseignement supérieur. Le doyen de la Faculté des Lettres, des Arts et des Humanités de l’Université de la Manouba, M. Habib Kazdaghli, aurait subi des violences et des pressions de la part des groupes salafistes. Deux jeunes blogueurs, MM. Djabeur Mejri et Ghazi Bedji, auraient été condamnés  à sept ans de prison pour avoir diffusé sur Facebook des caricatures de Mahomet. M. Nabil Karoui, propriétaire de la chaîne de télévision Nessma TV, aurait été condamné à une amende pour la diffusion du film « Persépolis » en octobre 2011, contenant des scènes avec un Dieu personnifié.

x

A/HRC/22/67

USA

10/05/2011

JUA
USA 5/2011

Alleged imminent desecration and destruction of ceremonial and burial site. According to the information received, Sogorea Te, now located within the city of Vallejo, California, had been in existence for 3,500 years and has been used continually by the Northern California indigenous peoples, who consider this site sacred. Allegedly, the City of Vallejo had planned to level and pave over the Sogorea Te Sacred Area in order to construct a parking lot and public restrooms. A continuous occupation of the site by local native peoples and organizations had held off the bulldozers that were due to begin the works on 15 April 2011. The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples sent a follow up letter on this issue on 19 September 2011, see above USA 18/2011.

x

A/HRC/18/51

Viet Nam

21/12/2012

JUA
VNM 5/2012

Alleged trial and imprisonment of two songwriters.  According to information received, Mr. Vo Minh Tri and Mr. Tran Vu Anh Binh have been sentenced to four (4) and six (6) years of imprisonment respectively on the charge of “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam”, for posting the songs they authored on the internet. There were also allegedly accused of having links with an advocacy group for, among others, human rights and democratic reforms issues. Both singers write about social and human rights issues.

x

A/HRC/23/51

 

21/03/2014

JUA
VNM 3/2014

Alleged forced eviction of the residents of the Con Dau village, near Da Nang city, in Central Viet Nam. According to the information received, in 2007, the local government of Da Nang city announced a plan to expropriate the Con Dau village. The land was leased to a private company to build an eco-resort. Compensation was poor and the request of the parishioners to be resettled near their church was rejected twice. By 2013, hundreds of residents had moved under threats and harassment or after their homes had been forcefully demolished. The company stopped its project and began selling its land use rights by lots to private buyers. On 7 March 2014, the local government of Da Nang city gave a deadline to a remaining hundred households to give up their land and move out by 15 April 2014. Concerns are expressed that the forced eviction of the residents of Con Dau violates international human rights standards and seriously disrupts the cultural and religious life of the community.

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A/HRC/27/72