Geneva-Countries are increasingly refusing to cooperate with the U.N. on human rights, U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein warned Tuesday, voicing alarm at situations in dozens of states, including Syria, Iran and Venezuela.
“States may shut my office out, but they will not shut us up; neither will they blind us,” Zeid said, opening the 32nd session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“After two years as High Commissioner, I believe it is important for me to share with you in this oral update our concern over an emerging pattern: the growing refusal on the part of an increasing number of Member States to grant OHCHR” access to their territories, he said.
He strongly criticized Venezuela, which for the past two and a half years has refused to even issue a visa to his representative in the region.
“Its comprehensive denial of access to my staff is particularly shocking in the light of our acute concerns regarding allegations of repression of opposition voices and civil society groups,” he said.
Among his concerns he listed arbitrary arrests, excessive use of force against peaceful protests, and a dramatic decline in economic and social rights that has sparked widespread hunger.
Zeid also spoke of countries that partly reject to cooperate with the U.N.
He said Turkey, Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, Iran and Syria have rejected cooperation with U.N. rights monitors on certain missions in each country.