Pre-sessional Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Committee Briefed

Press release

14 October 1999

In the early hours Hong Kong time yesterday, Ms. Eleni Petroula, presented a joint statement [enclosed] by the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Hong Kong Journalists Association, JUSTICE (Hong Kong Section of International Commission of Jurists) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), an international human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO), in a consultation meeting in Geneva on Hong Kong human rights issues. Ms. Eleni Petroula is the Deputy Permanent Delegate of FIDH to the United Nations in Geneva.The consultation meeting was organized by the Pre-sessional Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Committee to hear submissions by NGOs. The Working Group is responsible for preparing the coming session of the UN Human Rights Committee due to convene next week.

The Committee has scheduled to consider on November 1st (and the hearings may spill over to November 2nd) this year the first report submitted by the HKSAR Government on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

All the five members of the Working Group were present. Mr. Prafullachandra Bhagwati (former Chief Justice, India), Ms. Elizabeth Evatt (Australia), Mr. Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia), Lord Colville (UK) and Mr. Solari Yrigoyen (Argentina). The response of the Working Group, chaired by Lord Colville, to the presentation was very positive. Members praised the valuable contribution of NGOs to the work of the Group.

Our representative has invited the Committee to a briefing which will be organised during the lunch break on Friday, 29 October 1999, when most of the NGO representatives will be in Geneva. The President of the Working Group, Lord Colville, the chairman, said he was happy to hear that and that he had already read Human Rights Monitor's shadow report the night before.

The representative of Amnesty international came to the meeting and handed over documents on Hong Kong to the secretariat.

The meeting was devoted to all the countries that will be examined in the coming and the next session of the Committee.

[Attachment: 7 pages of the joint statement.]

1999 (c) Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor

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