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Panel on Peaceful Protests
September 29, 2021

Panel on Peaceful Protests

Human Rights Council – 48th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Senior Advisor Ms. Desirée Cormier Smith

Over the past year, we have seen government crackdowns on peaceful protests around the world.  We oppose the use of violence against peaceful protesters and call on all governments to respect the fundamental freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.

On July 11, Cubans took to the streets to stand up for their fundamental freedoms.  The regime responded with a wave of violence and repression.  Hundreds of Cubans have been detained for demonstrating peacefully, and many face secret summary judicial proceedings inconsistent with Cuba’s commitments in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In Nicaragua, the Ortega government’s wave of arrests and repression against those peacefully opposing the unprecedented political crackdown is especially alarming given the upcoming November presidential elections.

In Afghanistan, peaceful protestors face violence and arrest by the Taliban.  Disturbing footage of the injuries inflicted by the Taliban against journalists reinforces the imperative that any government in Afghanistan protect human rights and fundamental freedom.

Question:  How can this body ensure that members are held accountable for their human rights abuses and violations?