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Leading NGOs urge States to reject proposals from Russia, Cuba and Pakistan to weaken civil society protections
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 16:11


(Geneva, 25 September 2013) – A coalition of leading non-governmental organisations has called on governments to reject proposals being made by Cuba, Pakistan and Russia which would undermine civil society and weaken protections for human rights defenders.


The UN Human Rights Council is currently debating resolutions which are intended to strengthen the recognition and protection of civil society and to protect human rights defenders from attacks or harassment in retaliation for criticising States at the UN.


‘Civil society actors and human rights defenders play a critical role in promoting human rights, exposing human rights violations and seeking access to justice for victims. Regrettably, there are some States which, far from supporting this work, actively seek to undermine and restrict it,’ said Phil Lynch of the International Service for Human Rights.


‘The hostile amendments proposed by Russia, Pakistan, Cuba and others would substantially weaken the draft resolutions. They should be rejected outright by any government that is serious about its commitment to respect civil society and protect human rights defenders’.

A letter calling on States to reject the proposed amendments has been sent to representatives of all UN member States in Geneva and has been signed by NGOs including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Service for Human Rights.


- an unofficial French translation of the letter is available here -


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:10

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