Human Rights Council – 33rd session (13th – 30th September 2016)
Statement by Ireland
Item 4 – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
19th September 2016
Ireland aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and wishes to add the following.
Ireland will highlight our concerns regarding the human rights situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Libya, the Syrian Arab Republic, Cambodia and Ukraine during the debates and respective dialogues of this session of the Council.
Last June this Council sent a strong message of support to civil society. Our continued action in support of the role of civil society organisations is essential given the increased efforts to undermine and intimidate them and to exclude them from UN discussions. Ireland is particularly concerned about restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association, aimed at silencing the voice of civil society and human rights defenders in countries including Sudan, China and Bahrain. We are deeply concerned about the recent unrest in Ethiopia and support the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for an independent, impartial and international human rights assessment, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions. Ireland continues to be concerned at the ongoing restrictions on civil society actors in Azerbaijan.
Ireland fully supports all initiatives aimed at the global abolition of the death penalty. We are deeply concerned at the mass executions in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. We continue to urge States, such as Iran, to end immediately the use of the death penalty for minors. We welcome the abolition of the death penalty in Mongolia and urge the Government of the Maldives to maintain its moratorium.
Ireland is concerned about the ongoing reports of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, and urges the Government to fully investigate all allegations of targeted and extrajudicial executions.
Ireland deplores the discrimination of minorities including ethnic minorities, and calls for the rights of religious minorities including those in Iran and Myanmar, to be respected. We condemn acts of violence and intimidation carried out in the name of religion by extremist groups such as Da’esh. Acts of terrorism cannot and must not be associated in any way with religious beliefs.
The increased targeting of the LGBTI community in the Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, and in some countries in Africa, is deeply disturbing. Ireland welcomes the momentous decision by this Council to appoint an Independent Expert to examine and report on discrimination and violence on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and calls for continued international engagement in support of LGBTI rights.