UNHRC nominates pro-Palestinian Canadian legal expert as special investigator on Israel

It is expected that the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday will formally appoint Michael Lynk to the post to replace Indonesian diplomat Makarim Wibisono.

March 24, 2016 02:32
1 minute read.
THE OPENING of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

THE OPENING of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.. (photo credit: (ERIC BRIDIERS/US MISSION GENEVA))

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday appointed pro-Palestinian Canadian legal expert Michael Lynk to the post of special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

He replaces Indonesian diplomat Makarim Wibisono and will be tasked with examining allegations of Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinians.

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Lynk is a veteran observer of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a 2013 article on the Mondoweiss website, he advocated bringing Israel before the International Criminal Court of Justice.

In 1989 he worked in Palestinian refugee camps on the West Bank with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

He is now an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at Western University in London, Ontario.

In his application for the role of special rapporteur, he wrote, “the value of thinking about the Israel- Palestine conflict through the lens of international law is that it brings an indisputably impartial, universally accepted and forward- looking perspective on how to analyze this predicament.

“The heart of modern international human rights and humanitarian law is meant to protect those who lack the effective power to defend themselves from arbitrary state conduct, from the denial of their personal and national dignity,” he added.

The Geneva based non-governmental group UN Watch immediately attacked Lynk’s nomination.

“The UN’s selection of a manifestly partisan candidate – someone who three days after 9/11 blamed the West for provoking the attacks on the World Trade Center – constitutes a travesty of justice and a breach of the world body’s own rules,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

On September 14, 2001, Lynk blamed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center on “global inequalities” and “disregard by Western nations for the international rule of law,” Neuer said.

“One day after Islamists murdered and maimed hundreds in the heart of Europe, the UN’s appointment of someone who instinctively blames such attacks on the alleged crimes of Western nations sends absolutely the worst message, at the worst time,” Neuer said.

He called on the 47-member body to reject the nomination.

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