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Press briefing notes on Samoa

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Marta Hurtado
Location: Geneva 
Date: 28 May 2021

We are concerned by challenges to the rule of law in Samoa following the 9 April elections.   The Secretary-General called last Monday on the country’s leaders to find solutions to overcome the current political situation through dialogue in the best interest of  Samoa’s people and institutions.

OHCHR urges that the rule of law and democratic institutions in Samoa be respected and protected, and in particular the key role played by an independent judiciary.  We emphasize that Samoan judges must be able to undertake their functions without pressure, interference or personal attacks from any quarter. 

It is a fundamental right to take action through the courts, including to challenge election results, in accordance with the applicable legal framework. At the same time, decisions of the Supreme Court should be respected, in a manner consistent with international human rights norms. 

Samoa is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights since 2008 and has thus committed itself to safeguard access to justice and the independence of the judiciary. 

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466mhurtado@ohchr.org or
Rupert Colville + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org

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