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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Lesotho
January 27, 2020

As delivered by Charles Bentley

The United States welcomes the delegation of Lesotho to the UPR Working Group.

We recommend that Lesotho:

  1. Undertake impartial investigations into allegations of police brutality, corruption, and human rights violations and abuses, including reported extrajudicial killings and torture by the Lesotho MountedPolice Service, and continue to operationalize the Police Complaints Authority.
  2. Immediately end undue restrictions on freedom of expression and adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards intimidation of the press, including the arbitrary arrests of journalists and harassment of radio stations.
  3. Implement the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor and address the factors that promote child labor.

We remain concerned about ongoing allegations of police brutality and urge accountability for such crimes.  While the law provides for freedom of speech, we note that media freedom remains fragile, marked by several incidents of censorship, intimidation of journalists, and radio stations taken off the air in the past few years.  We encourage the Government of Lesotho to reaffirm its obligations and commitments to protect freedom of expression.