Item 2 – General Debate
Response to Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights
8 March 2022
Statement by Iceland
Iceland thanks the High Commissioner for her Oral Update.
We are concerned over intensification of restrictions on freedom of expression, media freedom, and right to peaceful assembly.
Iceland strongly condemns Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, as well as violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including attacks on journalists and media workers. Measures to restrict peaceful protests is of great concern. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly must be respected.
In Egypt, human rights defenders, journalists, and activists face repression, including by application of terrorism legislation against peaceful critics.
In Sudan, the use of excessive force and unlawful dispersal of protests countering opposition against the military coup is of great concern. We call for accountability and immediate end to impunity.
Women and girls still face disadvantages due to discriminatory laws and practices in Saudi Arabia, we acknowledge women’s increasing participation in society and workforce but remain concerned about severe restrictions imposed on women human rights defenders, including travel bans.
Finally, we are concerned regarding grave human rights violations and abuses committed against the Uyghur and other minority groups in China. Human rights must be ensured for all persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, also in Xinjiang.
I thank you.