COVID-19: Lift sanctions ‘bringing suffering and death’, urge UN rights specialists

COVID-19: Lift sanctions ‘bringing suffering and death’, urge UN rights experts



People in international locations underneath sanctions can’t defend themselves towards the illness or get life-saving remedy in the event that they fall unwell as a result of humanitarian exemptions to the sanctions are usually not working, the specialists stated in a news release on Friday.

Sanctions ‘killing people’

“Sanctions that were imposed in the name of delivering human rights are in fact killing people and depriving them of fundamental rights, including the rights to health, to food and to life itself”, they stated.

Water, cleaning soap, and electrical energy wanted by hospitals, gas for delivering important items, and meals, are all in brief provide due to the sanctions.

“Sanctions are bringing suffering and death in countries like Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen”, stated Alena Douhan, particular rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, one of many specialists highlighting the difficulty.

No enhancements

Nothing has improved, she added, since her appeal in April, for lifting of all unilateral sanctions that forestall sanctioned States from adequately combating the COVID-19 pandemic, or for the reason that International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies made the same attraction.

“We renew our call for sanctioning countries to urgently lift, suspend or minimize their sanctions so that medicine, medical equipment, food and fuel can get through,” the specialists stated.

The specialists welcomed efforts by many States, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations, to attempt to assist sanctioned international locations combat COVID-19.

“We particularly welcome the willingness of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, China, the United States and other donors to ship much needed medical supplies”, they stated.

Humanitarian exemptions key

However, rather than time-consuming and infrequently pricey procedures for getting humanitarian exemptions to sanctions, the UN specialists stated exemptions must be granted on the presumption that the said goal is definitely humanitarian, with a burden of proof on others to indicate it’s not.

“To guarantee human rights and solidarity in the course of the pandemic, licenses for delivery of humanitarian aid should be provided in the easiest way – preferably automatically upon request”, Ms. Douhan stated.

“Individuals and humanitarian organizations involved in the delivery of such aid should in no way be subjected to secondary sanctions”, she careworn.

Along with Ms. Douhan, the unbiased human rights specialists making the attraction embrace Obiora Okafor, the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity; Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health; Michael Fakhri, Special Rapporteur on the right to food; and Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts are half of what’s often known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. The specialists work on a voluntary foundation; they aren’t UN workers and don’t obtain a wage. They are unbiased from any authorities or group and serve of their particular person capability.

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