Press briefing notes on Egypt, Tunisia, Myanmar and Launch of global LGBT campaign

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva
Date: 26 July 2013

1) Egypt

We fully support the statement made by the Secretary-General yesterday. We are alarmed by some of the recent declarations by the Egyptian army. We would like to stress that it is the duty of the security forces to protect ALL citizens, whatever their political views. It is extremely important that security forces do not resort to excessive use of force. People have a right to make peaceful protests. All measures taken by the authorities must fully respect the law and international human rights standards. We will be closely following how the situation develops.

2) Tunisia

Tunisia remains extremely tense after yesterday's assassination of the opposition politician Mohamad Brahmi. In addition to what the High Commissioner said in the press release she issued yesterday afternoon, we urge the authorities to respect the right of people to protest and urge the security forces to take great care not to inflame the situation further by resorting to excessive use of force.

3) Myanmar

We welcome the announcement by President Thein Sein that another 73 political prisoners have been released in Myanmar, and also his recent statement that all political prisoners will be released by the end of the year. This would be a significant step forward in the implementation of the ongoing reform process.

4) Launch of Global Campaign on LGBT

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will shortly be launching 'Free & Equal,' an unprecedented global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

The High Commissioner will officially launch the year-long campaign at a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa, at around 13:00 today, alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Justce Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court. A number of international celebrities are also backing the campaign. More details will be included in a press release at the time of the launch, along with the High Commissioner's speech. A special webpage -- www.UNFE.org -- has been created for the campaign.

ENDS

For further information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 or + 41 79 506 1088 / rcolville@ohchr.org); C├ęcile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 or +41 79 618 3430 / cpouilly@ohchr.org) or Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 / ethrossell@ohchr.org)

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