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Item 2 General Debate
Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
March 7, 2023

Item 2 General Debate

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Human Rights Council – 52nd Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

High Commissioner Türk, I want to thank you and your office for the independent work you do around the world to ensure respect for human rights.

No country is above scrutiny, including my own. The United States acknowledges your call for progress on racial justice and we are committed to deeply engaging on the issue. We applaud those states who have taken a similar approach to your recommendations.

We also welcome your office’s assessment, and those of numerous special procedures, independent media, treaty bodies, academic researchers, and Uyghurs themselves, of the human rights situation in Xinjiang, which may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity, executed against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups by the PRC. We call upon this Council to take action to address the egregious and ongoing violations of human rights in Xinjiang.

In Turkmenistan, we are concerned by reports of the use of excessive force by security forces, including allegations of torture, arbitrary detention, and threatening family members to intimidate detained persons and coerce confessions. We urge the government to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people in Turkmenistan.

We strongly condemn the violence committed by transnational criminal organizations against the people of El Salvador but remain deeply concerned by measures taken to address it. Police and military forces have reportedly resorted to arbitrary detention and excessive use of force since the state of emergency was adopted in March 2022. We are further concerned by amendments to criminal law and criminal procedure that weaken fair trail guarantees.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the abduction and disappearance of Lao civil society leader, Sombath Somphone. We renew our call on the Lao government to investigate and resolve his case and hold those responsible accountable. We remain deeply concerned about the severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms that deprive the country’s citizens of an opportunity to exercise their rights.

We urge Saudi Arabia and Egypt to release arbitrarily detained prisoners of conscience and remove restrictions on civic space.

I thank you.