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Human rights: urgent action needed in Belarus, Mexico, India and the Philippines

51st regular session of the Human Rights Council
Item 2: General Debate on High Commissioner's oral update

Mr. Vice-President,

We thank Mrs. Al-Nashif for her oral update and congratulate Mr. Türk for his appointment as High Commissioner.

We continue to be extremely alarmed by the targeting of human rights defenders in Belarus, including Human Rights Center “Viasna” member Marfa Rabkova, who was sentenced last week to 15 years in a penal colony.

We share your Office’s concerns over the passing of a bill in Mexico that will transfer control of the country’s civilian police force to the military, resulting in further militarisation of public security in disregard of recommendations issued by the mechanisms of this Council.

We remain deeply concerned about the worsening human rights situation in India. Repressive laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act are routinely used to intimidate critical voices and arbitrarily detain human rights defenders, including Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez and 13 defenders arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case who have been repeatedly denied bail and remain in pretrial detention. The National Human Rights Commission of India has so far failed to proactively intervene in cases where defenders are targeted.

We are further disturbed by ongoing reports of extrajudicial killings in the context of the Philippine government’s “war on drugs”, which still occur on a regular basis. We call on the Human Rights Council to maintain scrutiny of the human rights situation in the Philippines and to adopt a strong resolution addressing human rights violations in the country.

I thank you.

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