UN Week – 8/27/12
This posting is the opinion of the authors, and does not necessarily reflect that of the UNA-SNY.
By John and Douglas Carey, Editors
In this issue: decision reserved on a detention by Cuba; UK human rights record scrutinized; criminal responsibility of UN personnel.
Decision reserved on a detention by Cuba
An opinion by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted on 4 May and issued on 9 July, A/HRC/WGAD/2012/13, dealt with the case of José Daniel Ferrer Garcia, general coordinator of Unión Patriotiótica de Cuba. He had been detained on 21 February 2012, released three days later, but detained again on 2 April.
The Working Group decided “to transmit a new letter to the Government setting out the new allegations received concerning the current detention of the same individual . . . .” Id. at 3.
The Group listed at pages 1 and 2 five circumstances in which it “regards deprivation of liberty as arbitrary. * * *
UK human rights record scrutinized.
The UK had on 24 May its turn to be reviewed in the Universal Periodic Review process of the Human Rights Council. “The Government had consulted broadly with civil society in all four nations of the United Kingdom and had engaged them in a frank and constructive discussion,” said the UK. Id. at 4.
Many suggestions were made to the UK by other countries, such as:
110.3 Recognize the extraterritorial application of the [Convention against Torture], according to its jurisprudence (Nicaragua).
110.9 Incorporate fully, as a matter of urgency, the principles and provisions of the [Convention on the Rights of the Child] into domestic law (Slovakia).
Criminal responsibility of UN personnel
A report of the Secretary-General on the criminal accountability of UN officials and experts on mission cited Switzerland as recalling “that, in order for it to prosecute its nationals serving as United Nations officials or experts on mission, it was clear that the United Nations would first have to lift the immunity they enjoyed under international treaties.” A/67/213 at 3.
“It should be noted that, since the United Nations does not have any criminal investigative or prosecutorial jurisdiction, the use of any documents or information provided by the United Nations, including their admissibility in any legal proceedings, is a matter for determination by the relevant judicial authorities to whom such documents or information have been provided.” Id, at 8. * * *