The Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights issued new guidance related to “less-lethal weapons” including police batons, tear gas and tasers. The document is addressed to a wide array of stakeholders as it aims to cover all aspects of these weapons from design to use. The document is available here and below.
Latest in human rights
Human rights and counterterrorism have been dramatically politicized and undermined at the United Nations over the past 18 months. In a spate of recent resolutions, the 47-member Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York have both retreated markedly from many of the hard-won normative gains in their earlier resolutions after 9/11, following concerted lobbying by the likes of Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia—regimes not known for respecting rights in counterterrorism.
The body of Jamal Khashoggi has yet to be found, and the case of his murder is littered with unanswered questions. There are a number of certainties about the gruesome crime, however, backed up by evidence, including that some of his most private communications were monitored by Saudi intelligence.
In November last year, the New York Times broke the sad story of Victor and Cynthia Liu, American citizens who entered China in June 2018, and have since been barred from leaving the country.
At this particular moment, it is more than reasonable to wonder whether constitutional rights and human rights matter. Fortunately, a large number of legal scholars and political scientists have attempted to answer this question. Unfortunately, they have been using the wrong tools.
Editor’s Note: North Korea may be both the world's most dangerous and most despotic regime. Understandably, most U.S. administrations have focused on the nuclear danger, but the Trump administration has also stepped up pressure on the human rights front. Andrew Yeo of Catholic University argues this focus makes sense and that confronting North Korea requires calling the regime out on human rights.
In a series of tweets on New Year’s Eve, President Donald Trump expressed strong support for Iranians protesting against their autocratic regime. He added that the United States would be “watching very closely for human rights violations!” The president’s pronouncements have been valuable in emphasizing the importance of human rights in Iran.
On Lawfare's feed at Foreign Policy, I wrote about how China has aggressively undermined key U.N. human rights mechanisms and how the Trump administration is enabling China's efforts. The piece begins:
A review of Joe Renouard, Human Rights in American Foreign Policy: From the 1960s to the Soviet Collapse (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).
Barrie Sander reviews Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda, edited by Karen Engle, Zinaida Miller and D.M. Davis (Cambridge, 2016).