UK Statement for Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Annual Report. Delivered by the UK’s Human Rights Ambassador, Rita French.

Rita French

Thank you, Mr President,

High Commissioner.

It is two years since your office’s Xinjiang Assessment. Thank you for committing to its recommendations, despite China discrediting its findings. Which of the 13 recommendations are you prioritising in your dialogue with China?

On Hong Kong, we join your call to repeal the National Security Law and Article 23 legislation, which further undermine rights and freedoms, and for the authorities to uphold their international obligations.

In Ukraine, violations by Russian forces – including arbitrary detention, forced deportation and torture – continue unabated. Images of Ukrainian soldiers released from Russian prisons show appalling detention conditions. Russia must uphold international humanitarian law and end its aggression against the Ukrainian people.

In Russia, political opposition is punished, anti-war sentiment repressed, fear pervades society. Vladimir Kara-Murza must be released immediately.

We are seized with the appalling suffering in Gaza and the violations by Israeli extremist settlers in the Occupied West Bank. International Humanitarian Law must be respected, civilians must be protected, and famine prevented, by allowing lifesaving aid into Gaza. We call on all parties to agree the deal on the table in order to stop the fighting, end the suffering of the Palestinian people, and release the remaining hostages.

Finally, we welcome your report on the situation in Ethiopia.

Thank you.

Published 20 June 2024