U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Comoros
Geneva, January 25, 2019
as delivered by Charles Bentley
The United States welcomes the Comoros delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We recommend that Comoros:
- Abide by the country’s constitution and existing laws governing elections.
- Respect laws which prohibit arbitrary detention, guarantee a fair trial without undue delay, and ensure the right to appeal.
- Enforce labor laws and implement programs to eliminate trafficking in persons, including forced child labor.
The United States is concerned by President Azali’s attempt to proceed with elections in early 2019, despite Parliament’s assertions that he does not have the authority to modify the electoral code or establish candidate eligibility requirements.
We are alarmed by the crackdown on opposition leaders. According to credible reports, dozens of opposition leaders have been arrested and detained, in many cases on charges which appear to be spurious, and have been denied a timely trial. Some of these individuals have been sentenced to life in prison, reportedly without an opportunity for appeal.
We remain deeply concerned by the government’s failure take effective steps to combat trafficking in persons, especially forced child labor, in the farming, fishing, and domestic services industries.