Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UN HRC54 – UK Statement on Reprisals [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 2 October 2023.

Statement for the Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary-General’s Report on Reprisals. Delivered by the UK on 29 September 2023 at 54th Human Rights Council.

Thank you Mr President, [Assistant-Secretary General] And thank you to the Secretary-General for his report, and his continued efforts to counter instances of reprisals against those who cooperate with the United Nations.

The UK unequivocally condemns each and every act of intimidation or reprisal.

Anexa Alfred Cunningham, a Miskitu Indigenous leader and human rights defender, has been denied entry back into her home country of Nicaragua, due to her participation in a UN group of experts.

Delegates of the Human Rights Centre Viasna have been arbitrarily detained in Belarus for their work defending human rights, including through their engagement with UN human rights mechanisms. Belarusian trade union leader, Aliaksandr Yarashuk, was arrested for his work, including submitting information to the ILO.

Armel Niyongere, Dieudonné Bashirahishize, Vital Nshimirimana and Lambert Nigarura, were forced to leave Burundi after engaging with the Committee Against Torture in 2016.

Following an appearance earlier this year in this very room, Sebastian Lai, the son of Jimmy Lai, and their international legal team have faced shocking intimidation and harassment by the Chinese authorities.

When individuals or organisations face threats or retaliation for engaging with international bodies, not only do the individuals involved suffer, but so do our collective efforts towards upholding human rights.

Thank you.