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HRC43: Denmark raises concern about human rights in Burundi, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Yemen and Libya 

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
43rd Session
Item 2: General Debate
Statement by Denmark

Mr. President,

Denmark aligns itself with the EU statement and thanks the High Commissioner for her report.

Holding political leaders accountable requires efforts to safeguard amongst others the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly as well as the right freedom of religion or belief. However, these fundamental freedoms are challenged in many parts of the world. 

The politically motivated arrests and acts of violence in Burundi are particularly alarming given the upcoming elections. It is with great concern that we have noted summary executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, sexual and gender-based violence as well as restrictions on freedom of association and movement. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and access to independent and functioning media should be ensured by the Government.

In the same vein, we are deeply concerned by the use of torture, arbitrary killings and repression of civil society and the democratic opposition in Venezuela. We urge the political actors in Venezuela to resume negotiations and to guarantee the necessary conditions for free, impartial, credible, transparent, and peaceful elections. The human rights situation has continued to affect millions of people in Venezuela, with clear destabilizing impacts in the region. 

In Nicaragua, we remain deeply concerned about the handling of the political opposition. We are witnessing ongoing harassment and intimidation of the population; restriction of civil and political rights such as freedom of the press, freedom of expression, the right to personal liberty, as well as the right to humane treatment. Furthermore, we are also concerned about attacks against indigenous peoples in Nicaragua and the impunity for crimes committed against them.

Lack of accountability and rule of law is often exacerbated in countries of conflict. The continuing human rights violations and abuses being committed with impunity across Libya and Yemen remain deeply worrying, and we urge all parties to the conflicts to fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law. All parties must protect civilians, including migrants, refugees and IDPs, and ensure unhindered humanitarian access.

Thank you.