UN Sub-Commission voices ‘outrage’ at rights violations in Lebanon

7 August 2006 – The United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights today adopted a statement decrying the rights violations taking place in Lebanon and voicing hope that the Security Council will foster an end to the fighting and a lasting solution to the conflict.

The Geneva-based body said it was meeting “at a tragic moment when a brutal and barbarous war has already deprived a thousand men, women, and children of their inherent right to life, several thousands have been injured and maimed, and a million innocent people displaced.”

Citing its mandate to promote and protect respect for human rights, the Sub-Commission expressed its “deep grief and outrage at the massive denial and violation of human rights in Lebanon.

It also voiced hope that the Security Council “will bring about cessation of the war without further delay and promote an urgent settlement of the conflict in conformity with the principles of justice and international law.”

In another development today, four independent United Nations human rights experts have announced that the security situation in the Middle East has forced them to postpone a visit planned for today to Lebanon.

In a statement released in Geneva, the four experts, who are unpaid and serve in an individual capacity, said they remain “extremely concerned about the impact of the continuing armed conflict on the human rights and humanitarian situation of the civilian populations of Lebanon and northern Israel.”

These concerns had prompted the special rapporteurs to seek an invitation from the Lebanese and Israeli Governments to visit both countries “as a matter of urgency,” and Lebanon responded positively.

But “due to the ongoing deterioration of the security situation,” the mission to Beirut that was to have started today has been postponed.

“We remain very keen to visit Lebanon, and Israel, as a matter of urgency later this month, as soon as the security situation permits,” the experts said.

The statement was released by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Walter Kälin; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt; and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, Miloon Kothari.

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