51st session of the Human Rights Council - Item 4 General debate

Delivered by: H.E. Ms Anna Jardfelt, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN in Geneva

Mr President,

Sweden aligns itself with the EU.

We condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms, including sham referenda in direct violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. Russia’s callous targeting of civilians in blatant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including in liberated areas, must end. The worsening repression within Russia, where political opposition and human rights defenders continue to be silenced, is deeply concerning. In Belarus, new groups are targeted in the leadership’s systemic persecution of political opponents.

The Taliban must be held accountable for the deplorable human rights situation in Afghanistan. We call for an immediate halt to violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Ethiopia and stress the importance of national and international efforts towards accountability.

Since the military coup, Myanmar has plunged into a deep human rights and humanitarian crisis. We strongly condemn the Myanmar military’s crimes against civilians including the politically motivated executions of four persons in July. All arbitrarily detained must be immediately released.

The human rights situation in China remains deeply concerning, including Hongkong, Tibet and, as further evidenced by OHCHR’s report, Xinjiang. We urge China to respect international law including human rights, especially the right to freedom of expression and the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The continued arbitrary detention of Swedish and EU citizen Gui Minhai must end.

In Iran the situation for women, human rights defenders, ethnic and religious minorities is deeply worrying. The use of a specialised criminal court to restrict human rights in Saudi Arabia remains seriously concerning.

Settler violence and violence against children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are of grave concern. The Palestinian government needs to ensure respect for human rights in areas under its control. In Gaza, serious human rights violations remain worrying.

Freedoms of expression, including on social media, and assembly must be ensured everywhere. Sweden condemns the use of death penalty in all circumstances.

I thank you.

Last updated 26 Sep 2022, 3.20 PM