U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 12, 2023
Thank you, Special Rapporteur, for your efforts to advance freedom of peaceful assembly and association. We are deeply concerned by the unlawful restrictions on this fundamental freedom in many countries around the globe.
In Belarus, the Lukashenka regime continues politically motivated prosecutions of those who participated in the country-wide, peaceful protests that erupted following the fraudulent 2020 presidential election. Reports detail that in 2023 alone, authorities convicted some 470 peaceful protesters.
In addition, reports estimate Russian authorities have detained more than 19,000 peaceful anti-war protestors since Russia launched its full-scale war against Ukraine last year, and that hundreds have faced criminal charges for anti-war expression or peaceful assembly. The Kremlin continues to use repressive laws, such as those on so-called “foreign agents,” “undesirable organizations,” and “LGBT propaganda” to harass or effectively outlaw peaceful civil society groups and independent media.
We must call out violations of peaceful assembly and association and uplift the voices of those who are silenced.
Our question is: What tools does the international community have at its disposal to promote freedom of peaceful assembly and association in states that show little interest in protecting this right?