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Human Rights Council 40: Item 4 General Debate

The UK highlighted concerns of violations and abuses in several countries, including the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the human rights situation in Venezuela.

Globe UN Geneva

Thank you, Mr President,

The United Kingdom would like to refer to interventions elsewhere on Burma, DPRK, Iran, Eritrea, South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi.

We call on all parties to address the dire situation in Yemen, stick to their Stockholm commitments, tackle the humanitarian crisis and protect human rights. We are particularly concerned that in areas under Houthi control people continue to be persecuted for their religious beliefs, such as members of the Baha’i community, and by cases of arbitrary detention.

In China we remain seriously concerned about the situation in Xinjiang, including the extensive use of “political re-education” camps. We call on China to implement the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Xinjiang. We continue to be concerned about restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China– including on Christians.

We call on Russia to respect all fundamental freedoms in line with its commitments. Russia must uphold the human rights of all its people, including LGBT people in Chechnya, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. We call on Russia to grant international human rights monitors access to illegally annexed Crimea and release all Ukrainian political prisoners.

In Egypt, we welcome the announcement of a new High Committee on Human Rights and President Sisi’s continued support for religious freedoms. However, we remain concerned about continuing restrictions on freedom of expression – including recent laws that suppress media freedom and independence. We call on Egypt to release all detained journalists.

Finally, we have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Venezuela, including the continued erosion of fundamental freedoms and heavy-handed Venezuelan security forces’ responses during protests resulting in deaths and arbitrary detention. We urge the Venezuelan authorities to free all political prisoners, convene new, free and fair presidential elections according to international democratic standards, and to facilitate humanitarian aid.

Thank you, Mr President.

Published 12 March 2019