Item 4: Statement in the General Debate

Statement by Ambassador Hans Brattskar at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Item 4 – General Debate. Delivered at 10 March 2020. 

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Freedom of expression and a free press is crucial for ensuring democracy and sustainable development. Norway is gravely concerned about the extensive use of surveillance technology to monitor and control individuals, and to censor expressions online and offline.


Individuals and journalists who criticise or challenge governments` conduct or narratives are often threatened, harassed and violently attacked. Female journalists and human rights defenders are particularly targeted.


All states should ensure that their legislation and actions create a safe and enabling environment for all human rights defenders and journalists. All reprisals are unacceptable.


We call on Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia to allow the freedom of expression and assembly without the risk of reprisals.


The attacks on free media, the detentions of journalists and media workers in Turkey remain concerning.


We encourage Russia to respect, protect and ensure the freedom of expression of all citizens.


The many reports of shrinking space for free debate and the persecution and discrimination of religious minorities should alarm us all. All people have the freedom of religion or belief. We are concerned about the situation for religious minorities and freedom of speech in Turkmenistan.


Thank you.