Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson (Paris - March 27, 2017)
• Syria – Further violations of the truce
• Bangladesh – Attacks
• United Nations – Closing of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council (Geneva - February 27 to March 24, 2017)
• Russia – Demonstrations
We deplore the high number of civilian casualties that may result from the clashes in which the coalition is faced with Daesh’s brutality.
We extend our condolences to the victims’ families. An investigation must be carried out whenever necessary. Protecting the lives of the civilian populations and easing their suffering are priorities for the Iraqi authorities and the coalition partners.
In contrast, Daesh is using civilians as human shields in order to slow down the Iraqi forces’ advance. This terrorist group is continuing to sow death on Iraqi territory through these attacks and is systematically destroying Mosul’s infrastructure.
We utterly condemn these practices, which once again reflect how little respect Daesh has for human life.
France condemns the continued violations of the truce in Syria and is concerned at the reports of air strikes that may have resulted in the death of at least 16 civilians in Hammouriyeh (Damascus) on March 25. We also condemn the violence committed by the terrorist organizations.
As Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, underscored on March 26, compliance with the cessation of hostilities is critical in order to allow for progress in the inter-Syrian negotiations currently taking place in Geneva under the auspices of the UN.
The international community expects Russia and Iran, guarantors of the cessation of hostilities, to exert the necessary pressure on the regime in order to put an end to these violations and allow full, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all populations in need.
France condemns the series of attacks in Bangladesh over the last few days, notably in Dhaka.
It extends its condolences to the victims’ families and assures Bangladesh of its solidarity.
France is determined to work toward strengthening international cooperation in the fight against terrorism all over the world.
France took part in the 34th session of the Human Rights Council which concluded on March 24.
The session focused in particular on the situation in Syria and made it possible to renew the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry in order to combat impunity.
France also supported, together with its EU partners, the creation of a fact-finding mission to investigate the allegations of serious human rights violations in Myanmar/ Burma, notably against the Rohingya minority. It welcomes the renewal of several important mandates on the protection of human rights: the mandates of independent experts on the human rights situation in Mali and Iran; the mandates of the special rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and on the freedom of expression. The Human Rights Council strengthened the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan in order to provide it with the capacity to gather evidence on the serious violations committed in this country. It also decided to strengthen the monitoring of the human rights situation in Libya and North Korea. Lastly, France welcomes the statement by the president of the Human Rights Council calling for the strengthening of the national human rights institutions in Haiti, with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, reaffirmed on March 1 the priorities and goals that France intended to pursue in the context of its candidature for a new term on the Human Rights Council for the period 2018-2020.
Anti-corruption demonstrations in Russia on March 26 were prohibited or resulted in numerous arrests of peaceful demonstrators.
This situation is arousing serious concern in France.
The freedom to demonstrate, the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, are fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Russian Constitution and the international commitments that Russia has entered into. We call on the Russian authorities to respect these commitments.