UNHRC Committee

United Nations Human Rights Council


Topics

Prisoner's Rights and Capital Punishment

Prisoner's Rights and Capital Punishment

The treatment of prisoners has always been a contested issue that between countries. Each country takes a different stance of how it treats its prisoners, ranging from a rehabilitation approach to many having extremely poor facilities and using violent methods of torture on its prisoners. These torture methods include waterboarding, hanging prisoners’ upside down, and detention in tiny cells, to name a few. This is in violation of the article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, stating “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Furthermore, Article 5 of the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners (1990) resolution states that “all prisoners shall retain their human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. Aspects that are discussed regarding this topic is the questions of a prisoner’s right to healthcare and the right to vote. The healthcare facilities available to prisoners has varied between countries, and the right to vote for prisoners is something not all countries have adopted. Another question contested in this area is the use of capital punishment. Most of the countries, except for 8 abstentions, are signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The use of capital punishment is widely seen as a violation of this article.

Chechnya Gay Concentration Camps

Chechnya Gay Concentration Camps

While homosexuality is technically legal in Russia, Chechnya’s leader Aslan Maskhadov imposed Sharia Law sometime before his death in 2005. Article 148 of the Chechen penal code states that all sodomy is punishable by death (upon the third offence). It is important to remember that all the major political leaders in both Chechnya and Russia have denied these claims. In December 2016, Kremlin-backed Chechnya conducted "raids on gays," per sources both inside and outside the republic. This started after a man was arrested for illegal drugs, and after the seizure of his personal property, several homosexual-related imagery and messages were found on his cell-phone. This information was then used to obtain further information about the gay population of men in the area; the police used phishing and online imitation tactics to lure more men 'out of the closet' and arrest them. Little information has arisen regarding homosexual women and other sexual-and-gender minorities in the region. During this time, however, reports collected from families indicated that several detained men were brought to their homes, and the police demanded that the family members perform a 'honorary killing' to clear their families name.February 2017 saw a "prophylactic sweep," which occurred and "suspects" accused of being homosexual were detained by the police. During this time, these people were missing by their families and friends, their welfare known only by the state. May 2017 - the Russian LGBT Network said it was working with five countries in Europe and elsewhere to offer asylum to dozens of gay men. This has continued, with Canada and Lithuania joining the coalition to accept LGBT Chechens and Russian refugees. At the moment, many nations have attempted to pressure Russia into loosening restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights, but nothing has come of these demands so far.

'Brussels Pride 2017' photo was taken by Antonio Ponte and is used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. 'A female prisoner' photo was taken by Officer Bimblebury and is used under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Chairs

Ranjana Ravi

Ranjana Ravi

I'm Jana a 3rd year attempting to make it through uni in Law and International Relations in UoE. Born in India at the tender age of 0 I moved to Edinburgh aged 13 and have called this beautiful place my home ever since. I’ve done MUN for around 7 years having chaired numerous times. Apart from MUN Mooting and living an excessively caffeine/redbull dependent lifestyle I enjoy drinking tea exercising and a good night-out. I’m found either in the law/main library attempting to study/amid a mental breakdown a coffee shop some watering hole or on the hunt for bubble-tea.

Morris Chaiet

Morris Chaiet

Howdy! I’m Morris and I’m a second-year Social Policy student. I’m specializing in human rights and identity politics so it only makes sense that Model UN has been a huge influence on my life since I was in high school. In order to fully get that international experience I moved from my tiny town in northern New Jersey to the big busy city of Leeds! I’ve got roughly 5 years of MUN experience and the complete lack of social tact to prove it. I hope one day to get my law degree and become a policy advocate for think tanks NGOs and maybe even then UN! That’s lightyears away so in the meantime I spend my days ranting at my TV about the inefficacy of literally any of Trump’s policies.