GENEVA (20 March 2015) – “The Coordination Committee of Special Procedures – the 53 independent experts and bodies appointed by the Human Rights Council with specific mandates on a range of issues and country situations – deplores the repeated hate speech and incitement to violence directed against the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Ms. Yanghee Lee.
Ms. Lee has been personally insulted and subjected to clear public threats against her person on at least two occasions in recent weeks.
Substantive disagreement with a Special Rapporteurs’ assessment can always be expressed. It is however unacceptable for mandate holders to be subjected to violent threats and public abuse when discharging their mandates which are established by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the key UN body comprising 47 Member States.
While acknowledging that the Government of Myanmar is not directly responsible for such statements, we strongly urge the authorities to disassociate themselves from these statements, to take all necessary measures to address, and prosecute as necessary, all acts of incitement to hatred and violence, as required under international law, and to fulfil their responsibility to ensure the safety and integrity of Ms. Lee as she carries out her mandate, and in particular during her visits to the country.”
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. For more information, log on to: For more information, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx
List of country mandates: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Countries.aspx
List of thematic mandates: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Themes.aspx
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