Category Archives: Press Releases

Attacks On LGBTI Community In Chechnya

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community. Civil society groups report that at least 40 individuals have been illegally detained since December, including two who reportedly died in custody after being tortured. We call on Russia to live up to its international obligations and commitments and its own constitution, and launch an immediate investigation into these human rights abuses. We also urge the Russian Federation to ensure that the rights of all human rights defenders are fully respected in Chechnya, and those illegally detained, including Oyub Titiev, be immediately released.

Terrorist Attack In Nairobi, Kenya

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the January 15 terrorist attack at the DusitD2 Hotel Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. The United States offers our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and a quick recovery to all who were injured. In particular, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jason Spindler, an American who died during the attack.

These craven attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism. We stand with the Kenyan government and people as they confront violent extremism and work to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Secretary’s Determination Of 45-Day Suspension Under Title III Of LIBERTAD Act

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The Secretary of State reported on January 16, 2019, to the appropriate Congressional committees that, consistent with section 306(c)(2) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6021 – 6091) and the authority delegated to the Secretary by the President on January 31, 2013, the Secretary made a determination to suspend for forty-five days beyond February 1, 2019, the right to bring an action under Title III of the Act. This extension will permit us to conduct a careful review of the right to bring action under Title III in light of the national interests of the United States and efforts to expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba and include factors such as the Cuban regime’s brutal oppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms and its indefensible support for increasingly authoritarian and corrupt regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

We call upon the international community to strengthen efforts to hold the Cuban government accountable for 60 years of repression of its people. We encourage any person doing business in Cuba to reconsider whether they are trafficking in confiscated property and abetting this dictatorship.

United States Calls For A Lawful, Transparent Process To Resolve Electoral Disputes In The Democratic Republic Of The Congo

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

The United States stands with the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at this historic moment. It is the people who should determine their country’s future through a fully transparent and constitutional process. The United States recognizes the legitimate concerns over the transparency of the electoral process.

As the tabulation process continues, we urge the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to ensure that the final declared results reflect the will of the Congolese people, as expressed through the ballot box on December 30, 2018.

The United States supports the lawful right of candidates to file a legal challenge to the election results and urges the Constitutional Court to execute a lawful, fair, and transparent process for resolving electoral disputes. The United States will hold accountable those who perpetrate election violence or undermine democratic processes. Maintaining peace in the DRC depends on a fully transparent and legal process to resolve any concerns regarding election results.

U.S. Commitment To Religious Freedom

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

Today the United States honors National Religious Freedom Day. On this day in 1786, the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. It begins with a groundbreaking statement: “Almighty God hath created the mind free.” This Statute goes on to guarantee freedom of religion to people of all faiths and would inspire the religious freedom protections in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and which in turn inspired the protections enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Every person around the world should be free to believe, or not believe, in accordance with their conscience. Governments have a duty to protect religious freedom, and promoting this freedom is a key foreign policy priority for the Trump Administration.

As part of our commitment to this freedom, the United States will host the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom July 16-18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. This Ministerial will again gather hundreds of government representatives, religious leaders, survivors of religious persecution, and members of civil society to build on the actions that began with the inaugural Ministerial last year. I look forward to hosting this important meeting and to strengthening the coalition of nations and organizations committed to defending this universal right.

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