We share the High Commissioner’s concerns at the brutal crackdown by security forces on peaceful democracy protesters in Sudan. The High Commissioner has rightly emphasized the Council’s prevention mandate, but expressed regret that the government has not responded to her request for access to investigate. The situation in Sudan is dire and deserves an urgent and robust response. We would have preferred the Council hold a Special Session sooner, but an urgent debate to create a fact-finding mission is essential for a credible response to this unfolding crisis, to deter further violations and facilitate accountability.
The High Commissioner expressed concern at the “extraordinarily high number” of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, and a recent joint statement by 11 Special Procedures noting the “staggering number” of unlawful deaths and police killings, as well as targeting of human rights defenders, journalists and lawmakers. Just last week, the Philippine National Police acknowledged that official estimates of “drug war” killings had risen from 5,400 to 6,600, and credible estimates suggest that the actual death toll could be four times that.
President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly called for killing those associated with drugs, saying: “My order is to shoot to kill you,” “I will kill you. I will kill you. Forget about the laws of men, forget about the laws of international law, whatever,” and vowing that in the future his anti-drug campaign “will be as relentless and chilling as on the day it began.”
Rather than cooperate with Council mechanisms, the Philippine government has attacked those who criticize its policies, including this Council’s Special Procedures, dismissing those who issued the statement as “intellectually challenged,” vilifying the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and dangerously placing the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on a terrorist watch list.
We urge all states to support the resolution to ensure an independent assessment of the situation and reporting by the High Commissioner.
We support the High Commissioner’s call for full access to carry out an independent assessment of massive rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region. Many states have expressed concern at the arbitrary detention of an estimated one million Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, and related denials of rights to freedom of religion, expression, and privacy across the region.
No country should be exempt from international norms and standards. It is crucial that attention to China’s rights violations not lapse with the completion of its UPR, and that states speak collectively in support of full independent access, monitoring and reporting by the High Commissioner and relevant Special Procedures.
Finally, we encourage the High Commissioner to publish the database of businesses whose activities facilitate illegal Israeli settlements as soon as possible, so that it may be considered at this Council’s September session.