52nd session of the Human Rights Council - Item 4 - General debate

National statement Delivered by: H.E. Ms Anna Jardfelt, Ambassador, Permanent representative of Sweden to the UN in Geneva

Mr President,

Sweden aligns itself with the EU.

The EU and the Nordic-Baltic countries have raised important issues with regard to the human rights situation in different countries, including Ethiopia, Myanmar, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Venezuela. Sweden stands behind these statements.

In particular, we reiterate our condemnation in the strongest possible terms of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s cynical warfare includes indifferently sending its own soldiers to death as well as callously targeting civilians in blatant violation of international law including international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

In Russia, the violent internal repression continues in order to silence and crush civil society, independent media and all types of opposition. While the Belarusian leadership enables the Russian aggression, internal repression has reached unprecedented levels, as all who express dissent are systematically persecuted.

The systematic disregard for human rights in Afghanistan especially with regard to women and girls is deeply concerning. The Taliban strategy to exclude women and girls from all aspects of public life will have grave consequences for generations to come.

The human rights in China remains very serious, including in Hongkong, Tibet and 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 and to implement the recommendations in the OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang. The continued arbitrary detention of Swedish and EU citizen Gui Minhai must end.

In Iran, the situation for women, human rights defenders and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities is deeply worrying. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Iranian authorities’ widespread, brutal and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, including women and children and the widespread use of arbitrary detention to silence critical voices. The use of the death penalty must end immediately.

I thank you.

Last updated 22 Mar 2023, 4.30 PM