UN Human Rights Council 42 Item 4 General Debate

Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The United Kingdom would like to refer to interventions elsewhere on Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. The United Kingdom is concerned about States’ use of arbitrary detention and the number of political prisoners being held around the world, and calls on all States to protect human rights, and uphold the rule of law.

We remain deeply concerned by the wide range of systematic human rights abuses in Xinjiang as described in the recent joint letter to the Human Rights Council President. UN experts should be granted immediate unfettered access. In addition, China should immediately cease arbitrarily detaining Chinese and foreign nationals, which constitutes a breach of human rights and China’s international obligations.

We also remain extremely concerned by Iran’s deplorable human rights record. Justice should be transparent and we urge Iran to cease arbitrarily detaining ordinary Iranians, foreigners and dual nationals.

Russia must uphold the human rights of all its people, including LGBT people in Chechnya and protect all freedoms including freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. We call on Russia to grant international human rights monitors access to illegally annexed Crimea and release all Ukrainian political prisoners.

We have grave concerns about widespread human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and call on the authorities to work with relevant human rights actors to address the situation.

Continued human rights violations and abuses in Libya are deeply worrying; the international community must consider all options to hold accountable those who are responsible.

In Egypt, prison conditions and restrictions on media freedom remain of concern. We hope that the new NGO law will allow civil society to operate more freely.

We are deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Venezuela, as documented in the OHCHR’s July report. We call for the restoration of democracy and the release of all political prisoners.

Finally, following severe human rights violations in Sudan, we welcome political progress and the opportunity this provides to make positive advances on longstanding human rights challenges.

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