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Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary-General's Report on Reprisals
Delivered by Jeffrey Regner
September 29, 2023

Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary-General’s Report on Reprisals

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Jeffrey Regner

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States remains deeply concerned about the chilling effect of reprisals against human rights defenders and other civil society actors both online and offline.

States that engage in acts of transnational repression, including harassing, intimidating, threatening, and exacting reprisals against individuals outside of their sovereign borders, such as the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Russia, must be thoroughly investigated and held accountable.

We condemn Hong Kong’s extra-territorial application of the National Security Law by issuing bounties for information leading to the arrest of eight pro-democracy activists who no longer live in Hong Kong. This is a dangerous precedent that fails to respect other countries’ sovereignty and threatens human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also condemn the harassment of Jimmy Lai’s legal team following their engagement with the HRC.

The international community should encourage states to provide open and transparent processes for civil society to engage with governments without fear of reprisals.

We call on States to publicly condemn reprisals against individuals engaging with the UN and call on the UN to effectively address this issue, including by supporting victims and pushing for greater accountability.

How can Member States best support efforts to improve reporting of cases of reprisals?

I thank you.