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Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association | HRC50
June 17, 2022

Interactive Dialogue with Clément Nyaletsossi Voule,

Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Statement by the United States of America

As Delivered by Anna Melamud, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser for Human Rights and Refugees

Human Rights Council, 50th Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President and thank you, Special Rapporteur Voule, for your work defending the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, especially in crisis situations.

These freedoms empower people to speak up and organize in order to influence government policies. This strengthens societal stability, transparency, and accountability. Globally, government repression of these freedoms often has the chilling effect of activists being forced into silence.

In Russia, Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine goes hand in hand with his brutal repression at home. Since February, more than 15,000 Russian citizens have been arbitrarily detained for peacefully expressing their opposition to the war.

In Belarus, after two years of an unprecedented violent crackdown against the pro-democracy movement, authorities in Minsk have detained tens of thousands of peaceful protesters. The regime holds over 1,200 political prisoners and has forcibly exiled thousands more.

And in Cuba, the government’s response to last year’s historic peaceful protests resulted in more than 1,300 detentions and over 500 known convictions in unjust trials.

Question: How can the international community assist your mandate for the promotion and protection of FoAA in crisis situations?

I thank you.