On June 16, the 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved Prince Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, charged with spearheading the U.N.’s human rights activities.
In light of the recent remarks of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan on President Rodrigo Duterte’s need for a “psychological evaluation”, scandals of the said commissioner arose from the depths of time, for when it comes to being a High Commissioner for Human Rights, biases should be set aside and respect for freedom of speech should be maintained at all times.
Zeid’s flaw: Freedom of Expression
Yet if there was any flaw on his untarnished and somewhat heroic record, it would be his liability on the how he’d treat the freedom of expression. Apparently Zeid’s record states that he is a man that is incredibly aggressive when tackling the “defamation of religion”, rather the “defamation of his own religion.
Zeid is the wrong man for the job according to Jacob Mchangama, a Danish lawyer and an expert of Human Rights.
“…how aggressively Ambassador Zeid will defend free speech in the sphere of religion, where this right is constantly under attack at both the national and international level,” said Mchangama who is also a Director of Freedom Rights Project.
Zeid has shown biases on defending the human rights, on the grounds that his goal of criminalizing the defamation of religion, certainly bypasses the freedom of expression to the point that in some cases he disregards it inconsiderately.
“Ambassador Zeid’s record on freedom of expression suggests either too great a willingness to compromise on human rights principles or a lack of civil courage, neither of which would recommend him for the job,” Mchangaham pointed out.
The director of FRP suggests that, “Ambassador Zeid should move swiftly to declare in no uncertain terms that freedom of expression includes the right to criticize religion even when offensive to religious feelings,” instead of indiscriminately incriminating any form of “defamation of religion.