Human Rights Council – 34th session, Item 4 – General Debate

Statement of the Czech Republic

Thank you, Mr. President.

The Czech Republic aligns itself with the EU statement.

We are convinced that there is no effective protection and promotion of human rights when civil society organizations and individual human rights defenders are stifled. We regret to note that silencing voices of civil society is a sad reality in many parts of the world. The abduction and detention of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong is another attack on individuals those defending human rights of others in China. In Russia, the stigmatization of the country’s oldest human rights organization, Memorial International Society, as a “foreign agent” is another decimating blow against independent civic voices.

We strongly condemn all human rights violations and abuses in Burundi and deeply regret that Burundian civil society actors, notably human rights defenders and journalists, have been a primary target of systematic repression by authorities.

As a member of the core group of the HRC resolution on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly we regret the current worrying trend of restrictions on these rights all around the world. We appreciate the current cooperation and dialogue between Egypt and the European Union, including in the area of human rights. Within this framework, we encourage the Egyptian government to support free and independent civil society.

Further, we remain concerned by the executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and we renew our call to halt the application of the death penalty reminding that states parties of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are obliged to limit its use and, in particular, to abolish it for other than the “most serious crimes”.

We continue to be are concerned about the situation in Venezuela where dissidents such as Leopoldo López remain in jail and where the political deadlock has a dire effect on human rights. We are also alarmed about the spate of extrajudicial killings of alleged drug offenders in the Philippines encouraged from the highest level and we call on their prompt and impartial investigation and bringing all perpetrators to justice.

We are deeply concerned by the serious violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law reported from number of countries including Syria, Iraq (around Mosul), Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria (its north-eastern part).

Mr. President, the Czech Republic already addressed other serious situations in individual dialogues.

Thank you.