on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
August 30, 2022
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances
This International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the United States stands with victims of enforced disappearances, as well as their families and friends – each living daily with the anguish that comes with the question of uncertainty of what has become of their loved ones.
Authoritarian regimes and their proxies globally continue to instill fear and maintain control by disappearing civil society leaders, human rights defenders, and others because of who they are, what they believe, or how they express themselves. Transnational repression – efforts by authoritarian regimes and their supporters to disappear activists, dissidents, and journalists in third countries – also continues.
This year particularly, in light of the much-anticipated UN human rights report on Xinjiang, I am thinking of the numerous Uyghurs who were wrongfully detained and disappeared by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The United States insists that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet fulfill her duty and release this OHCHR report, as it was originally drafted. We also call on the PRC to uphold its commitments to the UN Charter and bring relief to the loved ones of the tens of thousands of Uyghurs reportedly disappeared by providing information on their whereabouts.
The United States stands firmly every day in support of human rights and against these disappearances, and we offer our support to victims’ family, friends, and community members left in the dark. We call on all governments and international organizations around the world to credibly and transparently investigate all accounts of enforced disappearances and hold perpetrators to account.