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HRC39 Oral Statement on Item 2: General Debate on Oral Update by the High Commissioner

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 39th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: General Debate on Oral Update by the High Commissioner

Oral Statement Delivered by R. Iniyan Ilango on behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Mr. President, we welcome the High Commissioner’s first statement to the Council in her new role. We are heartened by her focus on the needs and rights of victims of human rights violations. We commend her commitment to speak out on behalf of those affected and look forward to her outspoken and fearless support in facing deeply concerning human situations in Asia.

We reiterate concerns expressed by the High Commissioner on a number of Asian countries.

We welcome the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar’s findings which recommend investigation and prosecution for War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. We call on this Council to immediately set up a mechanism to collect and preserve evidence; and prepare case files for prosecution. The Council should also call on the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.

We condemn the conduct of recent elections in Cambodia amidst a total breakdown of democratic principles. We reiterate calls to unconditionally release all political prisoners without charges.

Recent crack downs in Bangladesh on freedom of expression and hundreds of deaths in the government’s war on drugs, as well as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, are deeply concerning, ahead of elections later this year.

Next year will mark 10 years since the end of the war in Sri Lanka. The slow pace of meaningful progress towards transitional justice is of deep concern. If this continues, the Council, with the support of the High Commissioner, should take action towards enhanced scrutiny in March 2019 when the country is considered by the Council.


For a PDF version of this statement, click here.