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HRC 36 Item 2: General Debate with the High Commissioner
September 12, 2017

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America,
delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 12, 2017

Thank you Mr. President,

Mr. High Commissioner, we welcome cooperation with you and your office, and we appreciate your efforts.

We reiterate our deep concerns about Yemen’s deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation.  We call on all sides to protect civilians and allow unimpeded humanitarian access.  A political resolution to the conflict is the only long term solution.

We are concerned by severe restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression in Bahrain.  Respect for human rights for everyone in Bahrain remains critical for reconciliation and long-term stability and security.

We are extremely disappointed by Egypt’s approval of an NGO law that imposes severe restrictions on civil society and the continued shrinking space for these voices in Egypt.  A vibrant civil society is critical for Egypt’s stability and prosperity.

We share your concerns about the Venezuelan government’s actions, including excessive use of force and escalating human rights violations.  We call on the Maduro regime to restore democracy and release immediately and unconditionally its political prisoners. We support the statement issued by the Lima Group.

In Azerbaijan, we are deeply troubled by the‎ continuing violations and abuses against those who engage in peaceful dissent, including opposition figures, journalists, and bloggers.

We are troubled by the growing number of arrests of opposition members in Maldives and threats against UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Shaheed. We call on the government to uphold judicial independence and ensure that the Parliament can function freely.

We urge the government of Thailand to respect all civil and political rights immediately, ensure the election process for the 2018 elections is free and fair, and conduct an inclusive consultative process on government reforms.

Thank you.