Statement in the UN Third Committee meeting on the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment

Sofija Korac
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
October 14, 2019


Thank you, Chair. We thank SR Melzer for his work on this critical issue. The United States remains appalled by the many instances of torture around the globe.

We are deeply concerned by reports of violence in Cameroon by all sides of the Anglophone crisis, including reported torture by government authorities, to intimidate individuals in detention and outside alike.

The United States deplores the reports of torture in Nicaragua’s prisons, particularly of protesters detained since April 2018.

The United States again condemns the reports of torture by Iranian authorities against labor activists, members of ethnic and religious minorities, prisoners of conscience, and dual nationals.

We are dismayed by the lack of accountability for the reported campaigns of pervasive torture and extrajudicial killings in Russia’s Republic of Chechnya, in addition to February’s credible reports of torture by criminal investigators in Surgut, who later received promotions after the alleged torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The United States condemns the nearly 7,000 extra-judicial killings allegedly committed by the former Maduro regime since 2018, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s July 4 report on human rights abuses in Venezuela. Additionally, we condemn the reported use of torture against Venezuelan civilian and military detainees, including the death in custody of Venezuelan Navy Captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo in June 2019.

The Assad regime has tortured nearly 14,000 Syrians to death since 2011, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Assad regime’s continued use of arbitrary detention, torture, and extrajudicial killing. Crematoriums will not hide Syrian government atrocities which are tantamount to crimes against humanity.

In China, Uighurs and other Muslims detained in Xinjiang internment camps face torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and psychological abuse in an attempt to erase their ethnic and religious identities. The US condemns these abuses.

We would like to ask the SR the following question: What steps can the international community take to further integrate victims into the process of eliminating torture?