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PROVINCIA AUTONOMA TRENTO

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(Fonte: Onu) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, welcomes the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence for leaking classified military secrets. Mr. de Zayas calls on all Governments to protect whistleblowers instead of persecuting them. “I welcome the commutation of sentence of Chelsea Manning and her forthcoming release in May. There are, however, many whistleblowers who have served the cause of human rights and who are still in prison in many countries throughout the world. It is time to recognize the contribution of whistleblowers to democracy and the rule of law and to stop persecuting them.

I call on Governments worldwide to put an end to multiple campaigns of defamation, mobbing and even prosecution of whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, the Luxleakers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet and the tax corruption leaker Rafi Rotem, who have acted in good faith and who have given meaning to article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on freedom of expression. Whistleblowers who are serving prison sentence in many countries should be pardoned. Whistleblowers are human rights defenders whose contribution to democracy and the rule of law cannot be overestimated. They serve democracy and human rights by revealing information that all persons are entitled to receive. A culture of secrecy is frequently also a culture of impunity. Because the right to know proclaimed in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is absolutely crucial to every democracy, whistleblowers should be protected, not persecuted.

A democratic and equitable international order can best be achieved when States give prompt and effective consideration to the findings and recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, especially those of special procedures mandate holders and treaty bodies. Respect for human rights and human dignity must be vindicated by giving necessary protection to whistleblowers and adopting a Charter of Rights of Whistleblowers, as I proposed in my 2016 report to the United Nations General Assembly. I urge the Uk and Swedish Governments to strengthen the human rights system by giving effect to the recommendation of the Un Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. I am concerned that despite the opinion of the Working Group neither Government has taken steps toward implementation and Mr. Assange finds himself a refugee under the diplomatic protection of Ecuador. It is time for this abnormal and inhuman situation to end.”