Item 2 General Debate with the High Commissioner

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

Human Rights Council 37th Session
Geneva, March 22, 2018

Thank you Mr. Vice President,

We welcome cooperation with the High Commissioner and his office, and we appreciate their efforts.

We remain extremely concerned by the serious human rights violations and abuses that continue to occur in Burundi, and the government’s lack of cooperation with the United Nations, including threats leveled at the Commission of Inquiry.

In Egypt, civil society continues to face severe constraints, including a highly restrictive NGO law.  We are deeply concerned by the shrinking space for independent voices and decreasing tolerance for peaceful dissent, including in the lead-up to elections.

We are concerned by the ongoing severe restrictions on the Rights to Freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression in Bahrain.

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

We are deeply troubled by the ongoing attacks on democratic institutions by the incumbent government and we urge all branches of the government of Maldives to uphold the constitution and rule of law, and call upon the president to let parliament function freely and abide by the Supreme Court ruling, including the release of political prisoners.

We are deeply concerned about the uptick of arrests, convictions and harsh prison sentences in Vietnam for individuals peacefully expressing their views and we urge the government to release all prisoners of conscience immediately.

We look forward to Thailand‘s return to a democratic government via free and fair elections as soon as possible.  We welcomed the Prime Minister’s public commitment to hold national elections no later than November 2018.

In one country, the government continues to imprison and harass activists while it oversees an undemocratic presidential leadership transition process that deprives its people the right to choose their leadership via free and fair elections. That government is the Cuban government.

Thank you.