Human Rights Council – 52nd session
Item 4 General Debate: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Statement by Iceland
22 March 2023
Iceland condemns Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine which is a flagrant violation of the UN Charter. The human suffering and loss of life stemming from Russia’s invasion is horrifying. Forced transfers and deportations of children, and targeting of civilians and critical infrastructure is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
We also condemn Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and deplore the widespread and gross human rights violations perpetrated in Belarus. We urge for an end to systematic repression and politically motivated sentencing, including of political opponents and representatives of the Belarusian democratic opposition in exile.
In Saudi Arabia, we are alarmed by the handing down of sentences for peaceful expression of opinion and a surge in executions for offenses that no not meet the threshold of the most serious crimes.
In China, we remain alarmed by the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We urge China to meaningfully cooperate with OHCHR and to abide by its obligations under international human rights law.
In closing, Iceland refers to Nordic-Baltic statements on Myanmar, Iran, DPRK, Ukraine, Syria, Ethiopia and Belarus.
I thank you.