The United Nations (UN) listed India, Israel in a list of 38 “shameful” countries on Wednesday, September 18, which it said conducted intimidation against people cooperating with it on human rights violations. The other countries which were on the list are China, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Thailand, Egypt, Venezuela, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Congo, Djibouti, Myanmar among others. The annual report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also included allegations of criminalisation, mass surveillance, ill-treatment, publically stigmatising campaigns targeting victims, human rights activists.

A report by news agency Reuters said that the ruling parties of these countries frequently charged human rights defenders with terrorism or blamed them for cooperating with foreign organisations or destroying the state’s security or reputation. 

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Extending support to the human rights activists/defenders, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote that the world owes it to people who have stood up for human rights and have provided information to the United States on human rights violations, atrocities committed in the name of national security. 

 He added that punishing people for cooperating with the UN is a shameful act. It further said that women cooperating with the UN had reported of rape threats and being subject to online hatred campaign and the UN staff had often acquainted with people who were too scared to speak against them.

Surprisingly, some of the countries listed in the report are part of the Human Rights Council, which in 2017 passed a resolution reassuring everybody that they have a right to absolute communication with the UN. The report is scheduled to be presented to the Human Rights Council next week.

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