The United States thanks Mr. Forst for his work in support of human rights defenders.
To do their vital work, human rights defenders must be able to exercise their fundamental freedoms of expression, association, movement and peaceful assembly. Interference with these rights hinders our ability to understand and react to human rights crises, including those arising from mass displacement.
We also welcome the Secretary-General’s September report highlighting the reprisals experienced by victims of human rights violations and human rights defenders in more than 38 countries. The United States is alarmed and monitoring all allegations.
Given this disturbing trend, we highlight some of the victims of reprisal by state actors, though countless others exist worldwide.
In Bahrain, Nabeel Rajab; Bangladesh, Shahidul Alam; Cameroon, Maximilienne Ngo Mbe and Alice Nkom; China, Wang Quanzhang, Ilham Tohti, Huang Qi, and Jiang Tianyong. In China, we remain concerned regarding Chinese authorities’ detention of Yue Xin, whose efforts to defend women’s rights and labor rights should be protected, rather than punished. Cuba, Berta Soler, Dora Mesa, Juan Madrazo; Djibouti, Kadar Abdi Ibrahim; Egypt, Ebrahim Metwally; Iran, Nasrin Sotoudeh; Nicaragua, Felix Maradiaga and Medardo Mairena; Russian Federation, Oyub Titiyev and Yuriy Dmitriyev; South Sudan, Peter Biar Ajak, Dong Samuel Luak and Kerbino Wol; Syria, Khalil Ma-touq and Mohamed Zaza; Tajikistan, Buzurgmehr Yorov; and in Venezuela, Fernando Alban.
We urge these governments to provide fair trial guarantees and credible investigations into all allegations.