UN: Racism, discrimination a ‘virulent threat’
GENEVA: In an impassioned appeal on Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Commissioner denounced the impact of racism, discrimination and violence against women, LGBTQ people and other minorities around the world.
Volker Turk named countries from Afghanistan and Iran to the United States and Russia and warned: “Discrimination and racism are vicious threats”.
“You arm contempt. They demean and violate human rights, fuel resentment and despair, and hinder development,” he told the UN Human Rights Council.
When Turk delivered his first update on human rights around the world since taking office six months ago before the UN’s top legal body, he sounded alarm at “the scope and scale of discrimination against women and girls,” describing it as “one of the most staggering human rights violations worldwide”.
He highlighted the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have effectively ousted women from public life since returning to power in August 2021.
“The oppression of women in Afghanistan is unprecedented,” he said. “Such tyranny must not escape accountability.”
He also pointed to Iran, which was rocked by months of nationwide protests last year after Mahsa Amini died in custody following her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s women’s dress code.
“The authorities urgently need to respond to the demands of protesters, particularly women and girls, who continue to face pervasive discrimination,” Turk said.
Beyond the nationwide crackdown on women’s rights, Turk said he was “shocked to the core at the contempt for women… spawned by so-called influencers on the internet” and condoned “the pervasive commodification of women.”
Women and girls are not the only ones targeted by “vicious hate speech,” Turk said, adding attacks on “people of African descent, Jews, Muslims, LGBTIQ+ people, refugees, migrants and many other people from minority groups.”
He decried “deliberate provocations… aimed at driving wedges between communities”, such as the recent Koran burning in Sweden, as “deeply dangerous”.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights underscored the disproportionate impact of police violence on people of African descent, revealing “the deep structural damage rooted in racial discrimination”.
He noted repeated reports from his office of “excessive use of force, racial profiling and discriminatory police practices” in numerous countries, including France, Britain and Brazil.
In the United States, where people of African descent are nearly three times more likely to be killed by police than whites, he hailed the unusually swift action taken to prosecute officers involved in the brutal death of Tire Nichols in London earlier this year Memphis were involved.
“In the US and everywhere else, acting quickly and decisively to hold perpetrators accountable in every case should be the norm, not the exception,” he said.
Turk also expressed concern about the “growing hate speech against the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in many countries,” and particularly the recent crackdowns and political rhetoric inciting hatred against them in East Africa.
He highlighted the “very worrying” so-called anti-homosexuality bill introduced in Uganda’s parliament last week and 24 mainly AIDS educators arrested in Burundi.
“It is unthinkable that we should face such bigotry, prejudice and discrimination in the 21st century,” he said.
Amid a wide range of issues regarding the situation since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Turk also saw a “disturbing development” with the recent expansion of a law in Russia banning so-called “propaganda of non-traditional relations.”
Source: Crypto News Deutsch