Syria: Further Cases of Enforced Disappearance by Syrian Intelligence Services in Jableh, Latakia Governorate
On 1 April 2015, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians sent a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) concerning the cases of Samir Obaid and Ammar Faraj, two Syrian nationals disappeared since their respective arrest by members of the Syrian intelligence services in the coastal city of Jableh, in the Latakia Governorate.
Mauritania: Alkarama Denounces Numerous Violations in view of the State’s Upcoming Universal Periodic Review
On 23 March 2015, Alkarama submitted its report on Mauritania's human rights record to the United Nations Human Right Council (HCR) in view of Mauritania's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 3 November 2015. The report highlights numerous human rights issues, including the State's failure to penalise torture as a specific criminal offence, deplorable conditions of detention and numerous instances of arbitrary detention, the continued use of the death penalty despite a moratorium, violations in the context of the fight against terrorism, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and the persistent practice of slavery.
On 6 March 2015, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), Juan E. Méndez issued its Observations on communications transmitted to Governments and replies received, an Addendum to its Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in which the SRT provides observations on communications sent to States between 1 December 2013 and 30 November 2014. In light of Egypt's non-cooperation with his mandate, Mr. Méndez urged the Egyptian authorities to respond to the communications sent to them "without further delay."
Alkarama Launches 2014 Annual Report – Chastises Arab States for Violations Committed in the Context of Countering Terrorism
At the launch of its annual report in Geneva on 26 March, Alkarama chastised Arab States for trying to undermine, not only the United Nations human rights system, but also Arab civil society, all this under the pretext of countering terrorism, a label that has become the weapon of choice for authoritarian regimes to stifle criticism.
On 24 March 2015, Alkarama sent an appeal to United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) regarding the case of Ammar Mohammed Mohammed Mahmoud, a 19 year-old Egyptian student who has been subjected to various acts of torture since his arrest in November 2014. Detained in deplorable conditions inside Tora prison, Ammar remains at high risk of torture and has not been brought before a judge yet.
United Nations: 47 NGOs Call Upon UN Member States to Focus on Quality of Recommendations During Universal Periodic Review
On 20 March 2015, UPR Info and a group of 46 NGOs, including Alkarama, called upon UN Member States to focus on the quality and not the quantity of recommendations issued during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which should be stronger and more specific.
"As the third cycle of the UPR is due to start in 2017, States are repeatedly calling for a decrease in the number of recommendations, claiming that a too high number of recommendations undermine their effective implementation," says Rachid Mesli, Legal Director at Alkarama. "On the contrary, we argue that weak and vague recommendations are the issue. What really undermines the promotion of human rights is the sole acceptance by some states of the least binding recommendations."