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UN Human Rights Office should follow up on transnational repression around the world, as well as abuses in China and Burkina Faso

HRW HRC56 Oral Statement

Mr. President,

Human Rights Watch thanks the High Commissioner for his update.

We share his concerns on growing transnational repression. This global phenomenon, whereby governments are reaching beyond their borders to violate the rights of human rights defenders, journalists, government critics and others in order to silence them, is having a chilling effect on free expression and association. We encourage states at this Council to work together to address the issue; and would like to ask the High Commissioner what can be done to address and prevent this nefarious abuse?

On China, we join the High Commissioner in deploring the use of the new repressive national security laws in Hong Kong against people exercising their free expression rights; and urging the authorities to repeal – and meanwhile not apply – the legislation, and release those arbitrarily detained and prosecuted under it.

We would like to ask the High Commissioner how he plans to follow up on his Office’s landmark 2022 report on Xinjiang, which concluded that abuses against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims may amount to crimes against humanity?

Such follow up is urgent, and we encourage the High Commissioner to publish and present an assessment of the implementation of the report’s recommendations ahead of the two-year anniversary of its publication.

Finally, we agree with the High Commissioner, that the massacre of over 200 civilians by the military in Burkina Faso this February, and other unlawful killings, require “thorough, independent and transparent investigation.” We urge the authorities to stop trying to silence those reporting on the abuses, and invite OHCHR to support such investigations.

Thank you.

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