Press briefing note on Syria, Myanmar and Venezuela

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Date: 27 July 2012
Location: Geneva

(1) Syria and Myanmar

The spokesperson drew attention to two press releases quoting High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay:

(a) "Pillay warns of consequences under international law as Syria conflict escalates"
For full text please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12393&LangID=E

(b) "Myanmar: Pillay concerned about human rights situation in Rakhine state"
For full text please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12394&LangID=E
(2) Venezuela

We deeply regret the announcement by Venezuela's President that the Government plans to pull out of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Regional human rights bodies, such as the court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (which the Government has also said it may withdraw from) play a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. They also reinforce international universal human rights standards and treaties.

The Inter-American Court is a highly respected body that has had a very positive impact in the region, and has been crucial in obtaining justice for large numbers of victims of human rights violations, particularly during the period when many countries in the Latin American region were ruled by dictators. The Court's work has also played a an important part in the transition to democracy, and the rulings of the Court have had a key role in advancing transitional justice.

We are deeply saddened by the announcement of this plan, and hope the Venezuelan Government will reconsider this drastic move which could have a very negative impact on human rights, not just in Venezuela, but possibly across the whole region.

ENDS

For more information or media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+ 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+ 41 22 917 9310 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org).

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