Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on a Briefing by the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Mordica Simpson
ECOSOC Advisor
United States
New York City
October 22, 2018


The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Kaye for his important work on this critical mandate.

As we grapple with the impacts of new technologies on freedom of expression, we continue to contend with ever-present and growing challenges to the exercise of freedom of expression and opinion both online and offline.

Independent reporters, broadcasters, photographers, bloggers, and cartoonists are under physical threat in many parts of the world.

When journalists are jailed for doing their work, the public is deprived of unbiased information and in-depth reporting.

On the case of Saudi Arabia and the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We will continue to closely follow international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and conducted with all due process. We note especially the stated commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice. This is an important first step toward finding the answers the world deserves. We also hope that Jamal’s remains will be returned to his family for a proper burial as soon as possible. As the President stated, we are committed to working across our government, including with Congress, to craft an appropriate response.

In China, we are concerned about growing restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression. We call on China to allow all individuals to express their views without fear of retribution and for journalists to be able to do their jobs freely.

We call for an end to impunity for the murder of journalists and human rights defenders all over the world, many of whom expose corruption and human rights abuses.

The United States stands firmly with those seeking to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression. We commend journalists for their important work in shedding light on the truth.

Thank you.