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Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syrian Arab Republic
September 22, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syrian Arab Republic

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Thank you, Commissioners, for your tireless ongoing work.  We align ourselves with the joint statement delivered by the UK on behalf of a group of cross regional states.

As the COI has reminded this Council time and time again, the Assad regime continues to subject Syrians to arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, gender-based violence, including rape, confiscation of property, and intimidation.

Despite the regime’s claims, your latest report describes continued abuses of displaced Syrians, including those who have signed reconciliation agreements or criticized the government via social media. Abuses of those attempting to return to Syria, a form of transnational repression, must cease.

As also detailed in the COI’s reporting the regime’s widespread pattern of torture continues un-abated.  Hundreds of thousands remain in detention.

We call on the Assad regime and all parties to the conflict to immediately release arbitrarily detained persons, clarify the fate of those who remain missing or detained, and cooperate in good faith with the newly established Independent Institution on Missing Persons in Syria.

We stand with the Syrian people, who, 12 years on, continue to peacefully protest and demand dignity and respect for their human rights, including during recent weeks of protests in Sweida.

Commissioners, what pretexts are regime forces using to arbitrarily detain displaced Syrians?

I thank you.