General Debate on the High Commissioner’s Oral Update
Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Delegation of the United States of America
United Nations Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 8, 2022
The United States thanks the High Commissioner for her work to promote human rights around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s unprovoked aggression towards Ukraine that has resulted in a dire human rights situation and humanitarian crisis. We will address this throughout this Council session.
In Cambodia, we are concerned by the ongoing targeting of the political opposition, the closing of civic space, and the arrest of workers peacefully exercising their right to strike.
We also condemn the increasing number of arrests related to the exercise of freedom of expression in Vietnam. We call on Vietnam to release human rights defender Pham Doan Trang and all those arrested for peacefully exercising their rights guaranteed by Vietnam’s own constitution and its international commitments.
We are concerned about suspensions of civil society organizations and increased reporting of enforced disappearances in Uganda and call on the Government to implement the recommendations we delivered during the 40th session of the Universal Periodic Review.
While we are encouraged by the lifting of the ban on four newspapers in Tanzania, we call on authorities to repeal the Media Services Act and respect the right to freedom of expression.
In Guinea, we are concerned by previous reports of former President Condé’s security forces’ excessive use of force and impunity for violations of human rights in response to protests.
We are concerned regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Mali, which we will address in more detail during the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert.
We urge Saudi Arabia to fully resolve cases of prisoners of conscience, and to lift travel bans and other restrictions on previously released women’s rights activists.
We call on the Government of Turkmenistan to investigate all allegations of enforced disappearances and to cease transnational repression used to silence dissidents domestically and abroad.
We call on El Salvador and Guatemala to expand operating space and safety for civil society actors, including journalists, and for Haiti to hold accountable those responsible for killings in Bel Air, Cite Soleil, and La Saline, as well as the brutal assassination of President Moise.
Thank you Madame Vice President.