Irene Khan is a lawyer with Bangladeshi roots and former secretary general of Amnesty International
ARTICLE 19, a UK-based international human rights organization, has warmly congratulated Irene Khan on her appointment as the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
In a statement on Sunday, Faruq Faisel, regional director for Bangladesh and South Asia of ARTICLE 19, said: “On behalf of ARTICLE 19, I would like to felicitate Irene Khan, as the first woman to be appointed as the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
“Her appointment comes at a time when civic space is decreasing globally, especially during the challenging times of Covid-19.”
"However, as the former secretary-general of Amnesty International and her service to upholding and advocating for human rights much of her career, her expertise would pave the way for working on violations of freedom of opinion, mobilizing international and national communities, including civil society, governments, and international organizations,” Faisel added.
ARTICLE 19 hoped that she will contribute to protection and promotion of freedom of expression and rights to information in Bangladesh and South Asia as well as all over the world, just as she has been able to contribute to the field of human rights during and before the tenure of the secretary general of Amnesty International, he added.
Irene Khan is a lawyer with Bangladeshi roots and former secretary general of Amnesty International.
She is expected to begin her three-year tenure as UN special rapporteur from August 1.
She joins the UN replacing David Kaye whose six-year tenure came to an end on July 31, 2020.
She is the first woman to get this mandate since the UN began appointing experts on free speech 27 years ago.
Apart from Amnesty International, Khan has been the director general of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the promotion of rule of law.
She also worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 20 years.
“We look forward to working closely with Irene Khan on freedom of expression and information issues, and we wish her every success for the future,” said Faisel.