Ávarp Guðlaugs Þórs Þórðarsonar utanríkis- og þróunarsamvinnuráðherra á fundi um ólögmæta fangelsisvistun erlendra ríkisborgara
15. febrúar 2021
Firstly, I would like to thank my Canadian colleague, Foreign Minister Garneau, for convening us here today to launch the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations.
As highlighted in this declaration, we express grave concern over the use of arbitrary arrest or detention by States to exercise leverage over foreign governments, contrary to international law. And we stand in solidarity with States whose nationals have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, or sentenced in this way.
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And this right is fundamental when it comes to exercising other rights and thus upholding values that we hold dear under the rule of law.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of the release of all arbitrarily detained journalists and media workers imprisoned for their work around the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We must join forces to safeguard fundamental human rights such as liberty, freedom of expression, and the security of persons. Hence, Iceland welcomes this initiative and the leadership of Canada and other states endorsing this declaration. We hope that in this act of solidarity and cooperation we may urge States to take concrete steps to prevent and put an end to the practice of arbitrary arrest.