Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Washington, DC December 18, 2012
On this 12th International Migrants Day, the United States recognizes the more than 214 million migrants in the world today, who constitute more than three percent of the world’s population. The United States’ overarching migration mission is to protect and assist asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants, and to advance effective and humane international migration policies, in order to enhance stability and security and promote human rights. Our work through multilateral institutions, including the International Organization for Migration, and bilateral partnerships promotes international practices that respect the dignity and human rights of all migrants. In addition to engaging in multilateral policy forums, the United States plays a critical role in assisting the world’s most vulnerable migrants who have been affected by humanitarian crises.
Increasing Sanctions Against Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Networks Joint Treasury and State Department Actions Target Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment and Proliferation Program
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC December 13, 2012
Today the Secretaries of State and Treasury have imposed sanctions on seven Iranian private sector companies and five individuals for proliferating weapons of mass destruction pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382. These entities and individuals were designated because they provide the Iranian government goods, technology and services that increase Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and/or construct a heavy water moderated research reactor, both of which are activities prohibited by UN Security Council Resolutions. These designations generally prohibit transactions between the named entities and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction. Given Iran’s continued intransigence on its nuclear program, most recently demonstrated at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, it is essential to act to restrain continued Iranian violations.
The designations of these entities and individuals pursuant to E.O. 13382, an executive authority for sanctioning entities for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, carry consequences under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). Foreign financial institutions that facilitate significant transactions to or from the sanctioned entities and individuals are exposed to potential loss of access to the U.S. financial sector. We hope those financial institutions will act in a manner that preserves their access to the U.S. financial system by cutting financial ties to these nuclear support companies. MORE
Scores of Cuban Democracy Activists Detained on the Eve of Human Rights Day
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC December 10, 2012
We are deeply concerned by the Cuban Government’s repeated use of arbitrary detention and violence to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly, and intimidate independent civil society.
We understand that across Cuba, 94 members of the peaceful pro-democracy group - The Ladies in White - were reportedly beaten and detained on December 9. Just ahead of Human Rights Day, the women had used their weekly gathering, church attendance, and peaceful march to focus attention on continued human rights abuses in Cuba.
We call on the Cuban Government to end the increasingly common practice of arbitrary and extrajudicial detentions, and we look forward to the day when all Cubans can freely express their ideas, assemble freely, and express their opinions peacefully.
The United States’ Reaction to Egypt’s November 22 Decisions
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC November 23, 2012
The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community. One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution. The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments. We call for calm and encourage all parties to work together and call for all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue.
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC November 17, 2012
We honor the memory of Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy, who died Nov. 16, 2009 in a Moscow prison after making corruption allegations. Despite widely-publicized, credible evidence of criminal conduct resulting in Magnitskiy’s death, Russian authorities have failed to bring to justice those responsible. While we recognize that negligence charges are being pursued against a prison official, we will continue to call for full accountability for those responsible for Magnitskiy’s unjust imprisonment and wrongful death. We will also continue to fully support the efforts of those in Russia who seek to bring these individuals to justice.
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on November 7, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on November 5, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]
Accomplishments at the Human Rights Council 21st Session
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC October 3, 2012
The United States commends the important achievements of the Human Rights Council in promoting and protecting human rights during its recently concluded 21st session. Early in the session, the United States, together with a cross-regional core group comprising the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Mexico, and Nigeria, presented a resolution on the rights of freedom of association and assembly. The resolution, which passed by consensus with more than 60 co-sponsors, reaffirms the importance of respect for the rights of peaceful association and assembly as essential components of democracy. It underscores the key role civil society plays in promoting and protecting civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and the crucial role of the Human Rights Council in addressing increasing threats to civil society. The resolution calls upon States to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, a mandate that was established two years ago through a U.S.-led resolution.
The Council also maintained its strong pressure on the Assad regime in Syria, adopting its fifth resolution on that country this year with leadership from Morocco, Qatar, and other members of the Arab Group. The United States was proud to co-sponsor the resolution, which renewed the mandate of the Syria Commission of Inquiry (COI) and enables the COI to continue its important work documenting widespread and systematic crimes against the people of Syria.
We also applaud the African Group for its leadership on a resolution on the human rights situation in the Republic of Mali, the Council’s second resolution on Mali this year. Adopted by consensus, the resolution condemns human rights abuses and violations throughout the country and renews the Council’s call for an immediate end of all human rights violations and acts of violence and destruction of cultural and religious sites.
We are also pleased that the Council, with the African Group’s leadership, adopted a resolution that renewed and strengthened the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan. The resolution makes clear that the Independent Expert must have unimpeded access to all parts of society and all areas of the country, including Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and must be able to report findings without hindrance. Sudan’s human rights record is one of persistent abuse, including recent attacks on civilians in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces, and includes severe restrictions on peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. We appreciate the attention this resolution will bring to these abuses as well as the threats facing demonstrators, civil society, and journalists.
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC September 24, 2012
We are deeply troubled by the convictions of three Vietnamese bloggers who appear to have done nothing more than exercise their right to freedom of expression. Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay) was sentenced to twelve years, Ta Phong Tan received ten years, and Phan Thanh Hai, four years. All face house arrest following completion of their sentences.
Punishing activists for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression is inconsistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These convictions are the latest in a series of moves by Vietnamese authorities to restrict freedom of expression. The Vietnamese government should release these three bloggers, all prisoners of conscience, and adhere to its international obligations immediately.
A free media is essential to an open and just society. As Secretary Clinton has noted, protection of human rights is a necessary step in developing a closer, more mature bilateral relationship.