The 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) begins today Monday 28 February and is expected to extend until 1 April 2022. During the session, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), in cooperation with dozens of partner regional and international human rights organizations, will focus on the human rights situation in six countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, and Syria. CIHRS and partners will contribute to the 49th session through written and oral statements, together with side events and interactive meetings.
CIHRS and partner Palestinian organizations will present three written statements to the Human Rights Council on Israeli violations and crimes against the Palestinian people under the apartheid regime. In one statement, CIHRS calls on the United Nations and member states to recognize and condemn Israel’s crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people. In the second joint statement, CIHRS and partners condemned Israel’s policy of arbitrary detention, especially its escalation of administrative detentions and mass arrests against Palestinians. In the third statement, CIHRS and partners addressed the rise in violent crimes committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, amid the expansion of the Israeli settlement project and an institutional climate of impunity.
During the session, CIHRS will present a set of oral statements before the council, covering issues such as Israeli apartheid in Palestine, the use of (anti-terror) legislation to silence human rights defenders and organizations, and the international community in the region. The human rights situation in Libya and Syria will be addressed within an interactive dialogue with the relevant committees, alongside the importance of forming a new UN mechanism to investigate serious crimes committed in Yemen. The collaborative organizations will also conduct several side meetings and seminars to discuss the most important developments related to the topics of the 49th session.
During the second week of the session, a side event to discuss terrorism as a weapon to silence human rights defenders will take place. During the third week, a side event will be held on the importance of establishing an international mechanism for Yemen while on the fourth week, a side event will be held on the Israeli apartheid system.
Since 1993, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies has enjoyed consultative status, which qualifies CIHRS to review its interventions and reports before the United Nations Human Rights Council, as the main body of the United Nations addressing human rights issues.
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