Yemen: UN experts to conduct human rights mission

Anti-government protesters in Yemen

24 June 2011 – The United Nations will send a mission to Yemen next week to assess its human rights situation after hundreds of persons have died this year during clashes between Government forces and protesters, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported today.

A team of three OHCHR experts will visit Yemen from 27 June to 6 July “to gather information on the human rights situation in the country by meeting Government officials, human rights defenders, victims of rights violations, members of the political opposition and civil society, religious leaders as well as other UN agencies,” the agency said in a press statement.

“The team will also try to meet internally displaced persons (IDPs) and intends to visit medical facilities and detention centres in a number of cities,” the agency said.

The team’s report will be made public in September at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“The mission is being conducted with the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yemen,” OHCHR said.

The Security Council issued a press statement today in which its 15 members welcomed OHCHR’s mission to Yemen and “expressed their grave concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation.”

The Council also “urged all the parties to show maximum restraint and to engage in an inclusive political dialogue,” according to the statement.

The OHCHR team’s report will be made public in September at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Earlier this month the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) voiced alarm over what it called the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, citing reports of hundreds of deaths.

Yemen is one of many countries across North Africa and the Middle East where demonstrators have taken to the streets in large numbers this year to call for greater democracy and freedoms.

UNHCR said it was assisting nearly 200,000 refugees and over 300,000 displaced people in northern Yemen and the escalating conflict was affecting UNHCR’s ability to offer protection and assistance.

This week the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that an increasing number of persons were fleeing their homes and the UN was scaling up its efforts to help them.


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