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Nota de prensa sobre Yemen, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua y Montenegro

Portavoz del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos: Ravina Shamdasani 
Lugar:  Ginebra
Fecha: 11 de mayo de 2018
Tema:  (1) Yemen, (2) Cambodia,  (3) Cuba (traducción al español), (4) Nicaragua (traducción al español) y (5) Montenegro

(1) Yemen

The month of April was the deadliest month for civilians in Yemen so far this year, with a sharp increase in casualties. At least 236 civilians were killed and 238 injured in Yemen in April – a total of 474 civilian casualties, well over double the 180 civilian casualties documented in March this year.

In the first week of May, the heavy toll continued, with 63 civilian casualties documented by the UN Human Rights Office in Yemen, including six deaths and 57 people injured.

We are deeply concerned about the sharp increase in civilian casualties and call, again, on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. Recent attacks against sites located in densely populated areas, including Monday’s airstrikes against the Presidential Office in Sana’a raise serious doubts about respect for the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality in international humanitarian law. Based on the information collected by the UN Human Rights Office, the first raid directly hit the Presidential Office, which is located in a densely populated area. Eyewitnesses told us that the same building was hit again about seven minutes after the first strike, causing additional casualties among the first responders to the first strike. In another recent incident, 24 civilians were killed and 13 others injured by a Coalition airstrike against a gas station in Hajjah Governorate.

We have also documented casualties resulting from apparent indiscriminate shelling by the Houthis, including recent incidents on 1 and 2 May, during which five civilians were injured and one killed.

Between 26 March 2015 and 10 May 2018, our office has documented a total of 16,432 civilian casualties – 6,385 dead and 10,047 injured. The vast majority of these – 10,185 civilian casualties were as a result of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led Coalition.

(2) Cambodia

We are disappointed at the decision by Cambodia’s Court of Appeal yesterday to uphold the “insurrection” convictions of 11 opposition party members and supporters, despite concerns about fair trial rights and the perception of Government interference at the time of the trial.

The men, members and supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), were originally sentenced on 21 July 2015 to between 7 and 20 years in prison in relation to violence during a demonstration at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on 15 July 2014. 

The UN Human Rights office in Cambodia monitored both the original trial and the appeal. While the appeal hearings were procedurally correct, they did not address the fair trial defects that marred the initial convictions. During the initial trial, the accused were unable to cross-examine the complainants and were not given adequate time and opportunity to present their defence. This raised doubts with regard to the guarantees of a fair trial and equality of arms. At the appeal hearing, the original complainants – members of an auxiliary security force engaged by the Government – admitted that they had merely signed on to complaints drafted by others.

The demonstration on 15 July 2014 ended in deplorable violence, with dozens injured. However, no evidence was produced during the trial or appeal to link any of the 11 accused men with the violence, or the charges of “insurrection” defined in law as “collective violence liable to endanger the institutions of the Kingdom of Cambodia or violate the integrity of the national territory”. None of the injured complainants or video recordings of the incident that were presented as evidence identified any of the accused men as having undertaken, incited or guided any violent acts.

The “CNRP 11” – who have already spent nearly three years in detention – appear to have been convicted for their political opinion, and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

We have previously raised concerns about the Government of Cambodia using the judiciary to silence opposition parties, civil society organisations and dissenters. Similar concerns have long been raised by international mechanisms.  

(3) Cuba

Existen informes profundamente preocupantes de que funcionarios en Cuba han impedido que varios defensores/as de los derechos humanos y representantes de la sociedad civil embarquen en vuelos para viajar a reuniones en el extranjero con el pretexto de exigir controles de identidad más detallados. Estas medidas han provocado que los pasajeros pierdan sus vuelos y, por lo tanto, las reuniones, que en algunos casos estaban organizadas por un organismo de la ONU.

En lo que va del año, la Oficina de Derechos Humanos de la ONU ha recibido información directa sobre 14 casos de ciudadanos cubanos a los que los funcionarios les dijeron que el sistema informático indicaba que requerían un control adicional. La Oficina también está al tanto de informes que sugieren que docenas de otras personas pudieron haber sido retenidas de esta manera para impedir su viaje, supuestamente sin explicación por parte de las autoridades cubanas sobre por qué fueron retenidas, ni quién dio la orden.

Estos casos sugieren que estos controles adicionales se están utilizando deliberadamente como una forma de intimidación, presión y acoso contra ciertas personas. Las organizaciones de la sociedad civil también nos han comunicado que las autoridades les informaron verbalmente que sus representantes no podrían abandonar la isla antes de junio.

Anteriormente hemos expresado nuestra preocupación por el hostigamiento y la intimidación de los/as defensores/as de los derechos humanos en Cuba, incluido el arresto arbitrario y la detención de corta duración de personas especialmente antes, durante e inmediatamente después de las manifestaciones.

Hacemos un llamamiento a las autoridades cubanas para que respeten el derecho de todas las personas a la libertad de expresión y a la libertad de circulación, y a que garanticen que los defensores/as de derechos humanos y representantes de la sociedad civil no sufran restricciones injustificadas para viajar; en concreto aquellos que planean asistir a reuniones de la ONU y en particular al Examen Periódico Universal de Cuba el 16 de mayo en Ginebra.

El artículo 13 de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos establece que "toda persona tiene derecho a salir de cualquier país, incluso del propio, y a regresar a su país". El artículo 19 de la Declaración Universal establece que "todo individuo tiene derecho a la libertad de opinión y de expresión; este derecho incluye el de no ser molestado a causa de sus opiniones, el de investigar y recibir informaciones y opiniones, y el de difundirlas, sin limitación de fronteras, por cualquier medio de expresión ".

El Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas presenta anualmente un informe al Consejo de Derechos Humanos sobre intimidación y represalias. En octubre de 2016 el Secretario General Adjunto para los Derechos Humanos, Andrew Gilmour, fue elegido para liderar el monitoreo y la respuesta a represalias o intimidación por cooperar con el sistema de la ONU, incluido cuando se pretende desalentar o impedir la cooperación futura con las Naciones Unidas. Cuba fue uno de los países mencionados en los dos últimos informes. 

La Oficina de Derechos Humanos de la ONU continuará monitoreando dichos casos para determinar si merecen ser incluidos en el próximo informe.

(4) Nicaragua

Nos preocupa que la situación en Nicaragua continúa siendo volátil. Según información recibida de fuentes confiables, hasta la fecha al menos 47 personas – la mayoría de ellos estudiantes, dos agentes de policía y un periodista – han muerto en conexión con las protestas que comenzaron a mediados de abril.

Las manifestaciones comenzaron como una reacción a las reformas de la seguridad social, pero ahora se han ampliado para incluir llamados a investigaciones y rendición de cuentas por estas muertes, y a exigir justicia y democracia.

El 7 de mayo solicitamos oficialmente a las autoridades nicaragüenses que nos otorguen acceso al país para que podamos, de acuerdo con el mandato de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, recopilar de primera mano información acerca de los incidentes suscitados a raíz de las manifestaciones públicas y retomar el contacto con las autoridades y otros actores en el país.

Sabemos que la Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua ha creado una comisión de la verdad para investigar las muertes y las denuncias de tortura y desapariciones forzadas durante las protestas. Para que sus investigaciones sean creíbles, la Comisión debe ser independiente y poder realizar su trabajo de manera transparente e imparcial.

Tomando en cuenta que las demostraciones de protesta continúan, incluyendo una marcha que trascurrió en Managua este miércoles, deseamos reiterar nuestro llamado a una investigación de todos los hechos de violencia, y a un diálogo nacional, creíble e inclusivo.

(5) Montenegro

We are deeply concerned at the continuing climate of violence and intimidation against journalists in Montenegro, where investigative reporter Olivera Lakic was shot and injured outside the apartment building where she lives in Podgorica on 8 May.  She had previously been attacked in 2012 in relation to her work.

The attack on Lakic follows a car bomb in April in the town of Bijelo Polje in front of the home of journalist Saed Sadikovic, who also conducts investigations into corruption and organised crime. He was not hurt and it has not been established whether he was the intended target.

We are concerned at reports indicating that journalists, in particular those considered to be critical of the authorities, have been subjected to threats, physical violence, defamation lawsuits and smear campaigns.  According to reports from NGO sources since 2013 there have been some 20 to 25 attacks against journalists and media outlets per year, and very few cases have been investigated.

We urge Montenegro to comply with its international human rights obligations to fully protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including protecting journalists and media against any form of violence and censorship. In this regard, we call on the authorities in Montenegro to ensure the protection of journalists and other media workers, condemn all attacks against journalists, and ensure that all cases are promptly and effectively investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.

ENDS

For media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+41 22 917 9466/ ethrossell@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org).

2018, is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70thanniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.

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