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Sara Hossain appointed to UNHRC inquiry commission on protests in Palestine

  • Published at 03:15 pm July 26th, 2018
Sara Hossain
File Photo: Barrister Sara Hossain Dhaka Tribune

She will make recommendations on accountability to end impunity in the occupied territories

Barrister Sara Hossain, along with international law experts David Michael Crane and Kaari Betty Murungi, has been appointed by the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Slovenian Ambassador Vojislav Suc, as a member to serve on the Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Council, on its May 18 special session, decided to urgently dispatch an independent and international inquiry commission “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on Mar 30,” read an OHCHR press release.

Sara Hossain, a barrister of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and an honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, was appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as one of two experts on accountability—to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.   She also received the 2016 International Women of Courage Award from the US Secretary of State. Additionally, she has been a member of the board of trustees on the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture since 2017.

The commissioners, who will serve in their personal capacities, have also been requested by the Council “to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations and abuses, and on protecting civilians against any further assaults”.

Through Human Rights Council resolution S-28/1, the Commission has been mandated “to establish the facts and circumstances, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedure mandate holders, of the alleged violations and abuses, including those that may amount to war crimes,” and, “to identify those responsible”.

The Commission is scheduled to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council, at its 39th session, in September 2018, and a final, written report at its 40th session—to be held in March 2019.