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Libya: UN 'deeply concerned' by reported threats against national rights institution

India Blooms News Service | | 25 Oct 2014, 10:52 am
New York, Oct 25 (IBNS) The United Nations human rights office expressed "deep concern" on Friday at reports of threats and intimidation directed against Libya’s national human rights institution, the National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights (NCCLHR), based in Tripoli.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that according to reports, a number of worrying incidents occurred on 13 and 14 October.

“A staff member received a threatening phone call from someone claiming to represent brigades affiliated with Operation Libya Dawn. The staff member left Tripoli immediately,” she said, adding that others associated with the Council have also been threatened by people claiming to be affiliated with Operation Libya Dawn.

She said that a group of armed men visited the premises of the Council requesting the hand-over of keys and official stamps. Council staff refused the request. In a separate visit, armed men sought to question a number of senior staff members of the NCCLHR who were not there at the time.

“We call upon all parties to immediately desist from such intimidation and threats, and to allow the Council to carry out its activities in an independent manner free of harassment or other hostile action,” she said.

Independent National Human Rights Institutions are instrumental for the protection and promotion of human rights at the national level, and are the cornerstone of the national protection system.

“We also reiterate our call for those found responsible for human rights violations and abuses to be held to account under international and Libyan law,” said  Shamdasani.
 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm