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Item 4: General Debate on Human Rights Situations Requiring Council Attention
June 15, 2017

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As delivered by Scott Busby, 
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Human Rights Council 35th Session
June 15, 2017

Mr. President,

The United States remains deeply concerned about the human rights situations in Syria, Myanmar, Belarus, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and regions of Ukraine not under government control, which we address elsewhere in this session.

We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detentions, excessive sentencing, abuse, torture, and harsh prison conditions that Iran imposes on human rights defenders, minorities, and other prisoners of conscience.  We call on the government to end executions of juvenile offenders, to release all prisoners of conscience, and admit Special Rapporteur Asma Jahangir.

We remain deeply concerned by widespread and gross human rights violations – in the DPRK, including summary executions, enslavement, torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearances.

We are troubled by recurring and credible reports that lawyers and activists in China are being arbitrarily detained, tortured, and forced to confess to political charges on state media, and that in many cases, authorities have retaliated against their families.  Additionally, conditions akin to martial law have been imposed in Xinjiang and some Tibetan areas.

We condemn the violent suppression of protests in Venezuela, and the use of military courts to try civilians.  We call on the government to fulfill commitments to hold prompt elections, respect the constitution and democratic institutions, release all political prisoners, and tend to its people’s humanitarian needs.

We urge Cuba to release political prisoners and cease the harassment of independent civil society groups.

In Russia, we remain deeply troubled by ongoing harassment and prosecutions of civil society, the media, and the political opposition,   We are horrified by reports of detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings of gay men in the Republic of Chechnya, and call on Russia to free those detained for their sexual orientation, and hold the perpetrators accountable.

We remain gravely concerned about ongoing mass atrocities in South Sudan, including ethnically-motivated killings of civilians, widespread sexual violence and scorched earth tactics.

We condemn Sudan’s arbitrary detention of human rights champion Mudawi Ibrahim, UNAMID employee Adam Abdelbari, and scores of other human rights defenders.

We are concerned by harsh restrictions on fundamental freedoms in Turkmenistan, including religion and expression, and growing pressures on the media.  We also remain concerned about restrictions on civil society in Tajikistan

Thank you very much

Thank you.