Human rights experts condemn harassment of activists attending COP27 |

Climate activists and civil society have been exposed Intimidation, Harassment and Surveillance During the two-week gathering, which took place in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, they reported.

Stop harassment, ensure safety

“We are deeply concerned by the reported harassment and intimidation by Egyptian officials violating the rights of Egyptian and non-Egyptian human rights and environmental defenders at COP27, including their rights to peaceful freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and effective participation,” her statement said.

They called on Egypt to end all harassment and intimidation and to ensure the safety and full participation of human rights defenders and civil society.

The four experts are all special rapporteurs appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

They monitor and report on issues such as the situation facing right-backs around the world and everyone’s right to a safe, clean and healthy environment.

interrogation and surveillance

The COP27 was due to end on Friday but will almost certainly continue into the weekend.

Last month, the experts issued a press release raising concerns ahead of the conference and calling for the full and safe participation of civil society and human rights defenders without reprisals.

However, they said they received multiple reports and evidence members of civil society, including tribal peoples, are stopped and interrogated by Egyptian security officials.

Local security and relief workers also repeatedly monitored and photographed civil society actors inside the conference.

Widespread “chilling effect”

A human rights defender scheduled to attend COP27 was also denied entry to the country, they reported.

“We are concerned that these actions by the Egyptian authorities are having a chilling effect and impacting broad sections of civil society attending COP27, as many groups have expressed concerns about the need for self-censorship to ensure their safety ‘ said the experts.

Concerns after COP27

Experts received reports of activists being forcefully interrogated at the airport upon entering Egypt, raising fears that information gathered on civil society organization activities during COP27 could be misused.

They also expressed concern that if the spotlight shifts from Egypt after the end of the conference, Local human rights defenders could be targeted and risk reprisals for their involvement during the event.

“We call on Egypt to immediately end harassment and intimidation, to guarantee the right to participate, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly at COP27, and to refrain from reprisals against civil society, human rights defenders and indigenous peoples representatives who attended COP27,” said they said.

The experts are working on this topic with the Egyptian government and the UN Climate Change Secretariat UNFCCC.

About Special Rapporteurs

The statement was issued by Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association; Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism, and David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment.

They receive their mandates from the UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva.

These experts are independent from any government or organization and work on a voluntary basis.

They are not UN employees, nor are they paid for the work.


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