My June 2023 – July 2023 Newsletter


Tanzania – I had the privilege to meet a delegation of the Maasai people on 31 May, and NGOs representatives, working on the right of indigenous people. We discussed about the struggle of the Maasai to preserve their way of life and the human rights challenges they face.

Israel and Palestine – I undertook a three-day visit 7 – 9 June to Israel and Palestine. Among the many issues discussed with the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli authorities were lethal force by Israel Defense Forces, civilian deaths, settler violence, the need for accountability, settlements, demolitions and women’s’ rights. In Palestine, I met with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister, and spoke to representatives of Palestinian civil society. I also attended court proceedings in the Israeli Military Court at Ofer; and I visited a local community from the occupied West Bank. In Israel, I held extensive discussions with the authorities on human rights and IHL issues in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. I was also glad to participate in the Tel Aviv Pride Parade.

Democracy – On 20 June, I participated in the annual conference of the European Partnership for Democracy, where I spoke about the pressures on democracy from rising authoritarianism. The EU, as the biggest democracy donor in the world, keeps demonstrating that democracies deliver.

PakistanI meet on 23 June with Pakistani delegation, led by Ambassador Haider Shah. The meeting discussed follow up to EU issues, which I had raised during my visit to Pakistan in 2022.

Combatting Torture On 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, I joined its survivors, and the representatives of APT, IRCT, FIACAT, OMCT, and OMEGA to launch the United Against Torture Consortium. It is by working closer together that we will end the use of torture.

Human Rights Defenders – On 27 June, I welcomed to Brussels two of the winners of the 2023 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk: Segundo Ordóñez from Ecuador and Hala Ahed from Jordan. Support to human rights defenders, promoting their protection and fostering positive recognition of their work and vital role in society, is a central part of the EU’s work on human rights. Moreover, this is also a core element of my daily work as EU Special Representative for Human Rights.

Belarus – On 29 June I met Natallia Pinchuk, wife of Belarusian Sakharov Prize and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski. The EU stands firmly with Ales and all the other political prisoners. We will not rest until the every last one of them is set free. I repeated this message at the launch of the Consultative Group between the EU and Belarusian democratic forces and civil society held earlier that day.

European Endowment for Democracy: I had an honour to speak on behalf of the EU at the event marking the 10th birthday of the European Endowment for Democracy, which was held on 3 July. EED is needed now more than ever for Ukraine, for Belarus and everywhere that democracy and freedom are threatened.

Mauritania: On 3 July, I met with the President of the National Human Rights Commission of Mauritania, Ahmed Salem Bouhoubeyni. We have exchanged views on the human rights situation in the country, and the potential for co-operation.

Tunisia: On 4 July, I met with a Tunisian human rights activist and politician, Kamel Jendoubi. We discussed the situation of human rights, rule of law, migration, and the socio-economic situation.

Council of Europe: On 6 July in Strasbourg, I delivered an opening speech on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Collective Complaints Procedure of the European Social Charter. We must all continue working for social justice and human rights.

Egypt – On 19 July, I met with a delegation from the Egyptian House of Representatives, led by the Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Tarek Radwan. We exchanged on the implementation of Egypt’s National Human Rights Strategy, and other developments since my last visit to Egypt in April 2022. We also discussed the cases of Patrick Zaki and Mohamed El Baqer who were pardoned the following day.

Global Campus of Human Rights – On July 14-15, I participated in the Annual Conference on the Global State of Human Rights which was held in the Global Campus in Venice.

EU – OHCHR  –  On July 19th, I co – chaired with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk the third meeting of EU’s Strategic Dialogue with the OHCHR. The meeting discussed a range of thematic issues on which the EU is co-operating with its office, and we also discussed a number of country situations.

Bangladesh – I undertook a week-long visit to Bangladesh (July 24 – 28), which included 2 day visit to Cox’s Bazar where I met with representatives of the Rohingya refugees. My discussions with Bangladesh Government, Ministers and representatives focused mainly on the need for free, fair and peaceful elections, the need to amend the Digital Security Act, Civil Society space and labour rights in the context of the EU trade preferences for Bangladesh.


Eamon Gilmore

EU Special Representative for Human Rights




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