Thank you Madame President,
Iceland thanks the High Commissioner for her Oral Update.
We share her concern over the fate of human rights defenders and journalists who continue to face intimidation and attacks in various places of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has not helped in that respect, providing some leaders with a pretext to silence opposition, civil society or human rights defenders.
We are particularly concerned about the response by authorities in Belarus to demonstrations in that country, attacks on journalists and ordinary people who simply want to use their fundamental right to protest and to speak their mind and to champion true democracy.
Recent developments in Hong Kong are also of concern in this respect and we welcome the High Commissioner´s statement that her office will continue to follow developments there, with regard to the implementation and impact of the National Security Law.
The use of the nerve agent Novichok against Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny must be condemned in the strongest fashion and we call on Russian authorities to ensure an independent investigation. Those responsible must be held to account.I thank you.