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Item 4: General Debate on Human Rights Situations Requiring Council Attention
March 15, 2016

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As delivered by Theodore Allegra, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nation

Human Rights Council Session 31
March 15, 2016

Mr. President,

The United States remains deeply concerned regarding the situations in Syria, Iran, Burundi, South Sudan, DPRK, and China.  We continue to have concerns about Myanmar that were reflected in our statement in the interactive dialogue.

We also wish to highlight our concerns over the following situations:

We call on Cuba to end the practice of arbitrary short term detention, respect freedoms of expression and assembly and release all political prisoners.  We also urge Cuba to facilitate visits by special rapporteurs.

The Venezuelan government uses detentions to suppress and punish government critics, including the political opposition, civil society, and independent media.  We call for the release of political prisoners and justice for those tortured and mistreated in detention.

In Egypt, we are deeply concerned by mounting allegations of abuses by security services, particularly arbitrary arrests.  We strongly support Egypt’s efforts to confront the threat of terrorism and surmount its economic challenges, but long-term peace and stability require trust, accountability, and avenues for peaceful dissent.

We remain concerned about Russia’s occupation of Crimea and it’s actions in eastern Ukraine.  Domestically, the Russian government increasingly restricts freedom of expression, while creating a climate of impunity for harassment and attacks against activists, journalists, and the political opposition.

In Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, we remain concerned by harsh restrictions on civil and political rights, including the exercise of freedoms of religion and expression.

(end statement)