GENERAL DEBATE ON HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE THE COUNCIL’S ATTENTION

Switzerland was concerned about violence against sexual minorities in Honduras.

Iceland noted that, all 76 United Nations Member States that retained laws that stigmatized and discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons should abolish them.

PEN International, in a joint statement with 18 organizations, expressed concern about the situation in Bangladesh where Islamist radicals were committing violence, including the murders of journalists, bloggers and social media activists. The recent arrest of 11 people in alleged connection with the violence was feared to be the settling of political scores rather than the result of a genuine investigation.

Centre for Inquiry said that there was a human rights crisis in Bangladesh where bloggers, activists and journalists, as well as minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex activists were being targeted. The Government failed to investigate the crimes or protect the victims, and blindly denied the existence of terrorist groups in the country, which had taken responsibility for the violence in the first place.

Human Rights Watch said that Bangladesh had taken an increasing turn toward authoritarianism in recent years, and Member States were urged to raise the concerning situation in the Council and directly with the Government.