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Human Rights Council President appoints Santiago Canton of Argentina as new chair of Commission of Inquiry on 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

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20 September 2018

GENEVA, 20 September 2018 -- The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Vojislav Šuc of Slovenia, announced today the appointment of Santiago Canton of Argentina to serve as a member and chairperson of the Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Mr. Canton will join Sara Hossain of Bangladesh and Kaari Betty Murungi of Kenya, whose appointments were announced on 25 July.  He will replace David Michael Crane of the United States who recently stepped down as a member of the three-person Commission. 

The Commissioners have been mandated by the Human Rights Council “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018”. 

While serving in their personal capacities, the three Commissioners will aim "to establish the facts and circumstances, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedure mandate holders, of the alleged violations and abuses, including those that may amount to war crimes” and “to identify those responsible”.  They are also charged “to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations and abuses, and on protecting civilians against any further assaults”.

The Commission is scheduled to present an oral update to the 47-member Human Rights Council on 24 September 2018, when they will pronounce the approach they will employ in discharging their mandate, and a final, written report at its 40th session to be held in March 2019.

Biography

Santiago Canton (Argentina) is currently the Secretary of Human Rights for the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He was formerly Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Before joining the RFK Center, Mr. Canton was the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for eleven years after serving as the first Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression in the Inter American System. From 1994 to 1998 Mr. Canton was Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). He has also served as a political assistant to former United States President Jimmy Carter in democratic development programs in countries in Latin America. Mr. Canton holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master degree in International Law from the Washington College of Law of American University.

For information about the Commission of Inquiry visit:https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIOPT/Pages/OPT.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Rolando Gómez, Human Rights Council Media Officer: (+41 (0) 22.917.97.11 or rgomez@ohchr.org)

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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