An official website of the United States government

Item 2: General Debate with the High Commissioner
March 23, 2017

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
as delivered by William J. Mozdzierz

UN Human Rights Council 34th Session
Geneva, March 22, 2017

Mr. President,

We welcome cooperation with the High Commissioner and thank him for his unwavering advocacy to promote the protection of human rights throughout the world.

We are concerned that the conflict in Yemen exacerbates the dire humanitarian and human rights situation.  We call on all parties to commit to a durable cessation of hostilities and seek a peaceful resolution that respects the human rights of all Yemenis.  We support the UN-led process and will work with the international community to strengthen cooperation to resolve this conflict.

Steps taken by the Government of Bahrain since June 2016 raise serious concerns about respect for human rights including freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association. Allowing the full exercise of human rights by all in Bahrain enhances the prospects for reconciliation and strengthens Bahrain’s stability and security.

We urge Azerbaijan to free all those incarcerated for exercising their human rights or fundamental freedoms, including co-founder of the Republican Alternative Movement, Ilgar Mammadov.  He remains imprisoned despite a 2014 European Court of Human Rights ruling that held that his arrest and detention violated numerous provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that the actual purpose of his detention had been to silence or punish him for criticizing the Government and publishing information it was trying to hide.

We support Turkey’s efforts to bring to justice those involved in the coup attempt in accordance with the rule of law and with assurances of a fair and independent judicial process.  We welcome Turkey’s recent public commitments to ensure transparency in this process.  We ask Turkey to ensure any allegations of detainee mistreatment are fully and fairly investigated and to continue to grant access to independent monitors.  We share concerns expressed by the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, in his February 15 memorandum on freedom of expression in Turkey, and encourage Turkey to support diverse expressions of views while ensuring that the rule of law and fundamental freedoms are protected. ‎

We are concerned by restrictions on the media and on the rights of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion in Maldives.  We urge the government to respect these rights, to protect the independence of the judiciary, and to ensure fair trials for all – including political opponents.

We note that the Philippines has taken some steps to investigate credible reports of extrajudicial killings, estimated at more than 7000, associated with the campaign against illegal drugs.  We urge the government to respect due process of law and to conduct thorough and transparent investigations into these reports as it carries out this campaign.

We support the government of Thailand’s efforts to carry out its roadmap of reform and return to elected civilian government.  We encourage that, as part of this process, the government lift restrictions on civil liberties, particularly freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, and institute an inclusive political process.

Thank you Mr. President.