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Statement: General debate

General debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. Statement, 14 March 2018.

As delivered by Ambassador Hans Brattskar

President,

(As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more must be done to close the gap between the agreed norms and the realities on the ground).

Norway is deeply concerned about continued violations of the right to freedom of expression and the shrinking space for civil society and artistic freedom. Threats and attacks against journalists, artists and human rights defenders are unacceptable. (Impunity must end).

We are concerned about the serious situation for human rights defenders in Iran and Saudi-Arabia. We urge the governments to respect the rights to free expression and peaceful protest, and to refrain from arbitrary detention and arrests of citizens exercising their rights.

We remain deeply concerned about the human rights’ situation in Turkey. We call on the government to end the prolonged state of emergency and strengthen principles of democracy and rule of law.

The situation in Venezuela remains critical. Norway reiterates the need for a political solution to the crisis based on credible elections, respect for independent institutions and the upholding of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Norway urges the government of Azerbaijan to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society and media, and to allow critical voices and dissent.

Lastly, we are concerned about the deteriorating safety situation for women human rights defenders and journalists in some countries in Latin America.

Thank you.