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Human Rights Council 32nd Session (13 June – 1 July 2016) Item 4 – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

22 June 2016 

Ireland aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and adds the following.

Mr President

Ireland has or will highlight our concerns regarding the human rights situations in South Sudan, Ukraine, Central African Republic, Burundi, and Belarus during dialogues and other debates at this session of the Council as well as discussions on the findings of the Commissions of Inquiry for Syria and Eritrea.

This week the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty takes place in Oslo.  Ireland welcomes the increase in the number of countries that have abolished the death penalty but is dismayed that the number of executions recorded in 2015 continued to increase.  We are particularly concerned about the continued application of the death penalty in cases where the sentenced person was a minor at the time of the alleged offence and call on countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran to immediately end this practice.

Since the March session of this Council we have witnessed terrible attacks on the LBGTI community resulted in mass killings and depraved acts such as the brutal murder of activists in Bangladesh.  This reinforces the importance of this Council addressing the issues of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

Ireland is further gravely concerned at the increase in risks to the LGBTI community arising from measures taken by the very Governments who are responsible for their protection including in Russia, Honduras and some countries in Africa and call for the repeal of these measures.

These measures often go hand in hand with broader efforts to restrict the fundamental rights to freedom of opinion, expression, assembly and association. We remain concerned about recent developments in China, Bahrain and Turkey and we call upon these governments to fulfil their human rights obligations, repeal repressive legislation and ensure that the rule of law prevails.

The continued threat to freedom of religion or belief in many countries across the globe is of great concern. We condemn the act of extremist groups such as Da-esh and call on all States to prevent acts of violence and persecution committed in the name of religion against individuals, communities and places of worship.

We are concerned at the restrictions on civil society actors and media in Azerbaijan and call on all States to end measures aimed at restriction of civil society space. During this session the Council will have the opportunity to express its support for the role of civil society.  Ireland calls on all States to stand in solidarity with civil society organisations whose existence is under threat .

Finally, Ireland remains concerned at the continued failure to end the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, the dispossession and eviction of Palestinians, and at growing measures to suppress the voice of NGOs critical of these policies.