For Immediate Release
Human Rights First Welcomes Creation of Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association
WASHINGTON - Following an announcement that the Human Rights Council has
established the first-ever Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and
association, Human Rights First's President and CEO, Elisa Massimino,
issued the following statement:
"Freedom of assembly and association are bedrock rights essential to
democracy and civic action. Yet in many places around the world,
governments are restricting the rights of their citizens to meet, to
form organizations, and to pursue joint action demanding respect for
fundamental rights. That's why it is so important that the Human Rights
Council has established a mechanism to monitor these rights, so that
when governments abuse them, the international community is on notice
and can respond. We welcome the leadership of the United States at the
Council in pressing this agenda forward.
"So much depends on the freedom of civil society to organize and
operate without intimidation and threat. When governments abuse the
rights of their people, civil society groups are often in the best
position to quickly sound the alarm and call for redress. This new
Special Rapporteur’s work should complement the work being done by the
Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to ensure that the vital
voices of civil society are heard."
Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.