Human Rights Council
Item 2: Annual report of HC for Human Rights and report of OHCHR and SG
General Debate on High Commissioner’s Oral Update
Statement by Iceland
Thank you, Mr. President.
Iceland thanks the Acting High Commissioner for her oral update.
We would like to raise concerns of the sharply deteriorating human rights situation in the Russian Federation after its war of aggression against Ukraine. The persecution of human rights defenders, silencing of journalists, the ban against independent media and peaceful protests, and the attack against civil society is alarming.
Iceland also strongly condemns Russia’s expansion and harsh enforcement of its “foreign agents’ law” which is systematically used to silence dissenting and opposition voices. Formal scrutiny of the human rights situation in Russia is urgently needed.
In Afghanistan, we remain greatly alarmed by the sharp deterioration of human rights, in particular women and girls, and ethnic and religious minorities. We reiterate our call on Taliban to respect women’s and girls’ rights and accept diversity and different views. The Taliban must close the gap between their words and their deeds, as they continue to be judged by the latter.
We thank the OHCHR for the assessment report of human rights concerns in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region which is sound, and its credibility cannot be refuted.
Iceland is gravely concerned by accounts of systematic, widespread, and targeted human rights violations and abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities that may amount to crimes against humanity. Accountability must be ensured. We urge China to abide by its international human rights obligations and to immediately implement the report’s recommendations.