Tag - United Kingdom ( 15 )

News | Three years after Tunisia: thoughts and perspectives on the rights to freedom of assembly and association from UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai

May 05 2014

The Journal of Global Ethics has published an essay by Maina Kiai, in which he reflects on the first three years of his mandate, and the global state of assembly and association rights three years after protests exploded in Tunisia, sparking the Arab Spring. The essay, “Three years after Tunisia: thoughts and perspectives on the rights to freedom of assembly and association from United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai,” is available for free download to the first 50 people; subsequent access is by purchase only. Although Kiai’s mandate was created in late 2010 against the backdrop of shrinking space for civil society, a massive and growing global protest movement has grabbed most of the headlines since 2011. Kiai argues that the mandate has made a measurable impact – having helped raise awareness of repressive NGO laws, provided technical assistance to governments to strengthen assembly and association rights and developed soft law. But perhaps the most important work of the mandate, he argues, has been its contribution to a better understanding of just how important the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are. “These rights satisfy people’s fundamental desire to take control of their own destinies,” Kiai writes. “They need to speak out, to work together... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Feb-March 2014)

Feb 27 2014

Issue No. 2 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the official newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • ŸŸŸŸŸŸKiai makes official visit to Rwanda; calls for increased space for peaceful dissent • Kiai makes unofficial visit to Cambodia, calls on gov’t to lift ban on public assemblies • Freeassembly.net website updated with new ‘country invitation status’ page • Community of Democracies & UNSR launch new project on civil society’s right to access funding • UK lobbying bill threatens to ‘stain’ British democracy • World briefing: freedom of assembly & association in the news • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Plus, our new Flickr page, which allows anyone to download and reuse official photos from the UNSR mandate under a Creative Commons attribution license For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click... Continue reading →

News | UK visit: “No matter how old a democracy, there is always space for improvements”

Jan 23 2013

United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai urged today the British Government to review a number of legal and policing measures affecting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. “No matter how old a democracy, there is always space for continued improvements,” said the first independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide, at the end of his official mission* to the United Kingdom. England and Wales (peaceful assembly) “I am deeply concerned with the use of embedded undercover police officers in groups that are non-violent and which exercise their democratic rights to protest and take peaceful direct action,” the Special Rapporteur noted, recalling the case of Mark Kennedy and other undercover officers. “The duration of this infiltration, and the resultant trauma and suspicion it has caused, are unacceptable in a democracy.” Mr. Kiai called for a judge-led public enquiry into this and other related cases, “with a view to giving voice to victims, especially women, who were deliberately deceived by their own government, and paving the way for reparations.” “These cases are as damaging... Continue reading →

Report | Country Visit: United Kingdom (A/HRC/23/39/Add.1)

Jan 15 2017

Maina Kiai undertook an official mission to the United Kingdom of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from Jan. 14-23, 2013. During his ten-day visit to the UK, the expert went to London, Belfast and Edinburgh where he met senior officials, representatives of the legislature, human rights commissions and other independent monitoring institutions, and civil society. The visit was carried out pursuant to his mandate to assess the situation of freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in the country. In his report, the Special Rapporteur details positive measures by the authorities, but also documents a number of areas for concern in relation to freedom of peaceful assembly in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Kiai also details his concerns in relation to counter-terrorism measures and restrictions on trade unionism. “No matter how old a democracy, there is always space for continued improvements,” Kiai said at the conclusion of his visit. The Special Rapporteur's report was presented to the Human Rights Council at its 23rd session in June 2013, and is available in all six official UN... Continue reading →

News | Kiai to make official country visit to the United Kingdom

Jan 10 2013

United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will visit the United Kingdom from 14 to 23 January 2013, in what will be the first information-gathering mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide. “The United Kingdom has voiced its commitment to human rights on repeated occasions, and this mission will give me an opportunity to assess in-depth to what extend the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enjoyed in the country,” Mr. Kiai said. The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, is scheduled to travel to London, Belfast and Edinburgh, where he will meet with officials, representatives of the judiciary, legislature, various human rights commissions, and civil society. The UN Human Rights Council recognized the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as essential components of democracy, and called on States to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely. Mr. Kiai will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Wednesday 23 January, at the premises of the UN... Continue reading →