Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Opinion Irene Khan
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Meryn Schneiderhan
Human Rights Council – 50th Session
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
The United States welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s vital work and thanks her for the timely report.
We note with concern that this year has already seen a record number of deaths of journalists in Mexico.
We are troubled by restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression both online and offline in Vietnam. We call upon Vietnam ensure its laws and actions are consistent with the human rights provisions of Vietnam’s Constitution and Vietnam’s international obligations and commitments. We urge the government to release author and journalist Pham Doan Trang and others jailed for exercising their human rights.
In Egypt, the state censors or blocks hundreds of independent websites and detains and prosecutes citizens for criticizing the government. In Algeria, authorities have used restrictive laws on freedom of expression to detain hirak activists and outspoken critics of the government.
With respect to Turkey, the continued harassment of media workers, including through prolonged pretrial detention, overbroad claims of support for terrorism, and criminal insult cases, must stop. We urge the government to respect the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Turkey’s own constitution and in its international obligations and commitments.
Our questions is, how can we most effectively mobilize political will to increase respect for freedom of expression worldwide?
I thank you.