Responses to the Russian Federation Statement on Privacy Concerns

National security matters are an issue of public debate in the United States, a debate which involves civil society, human rights activists, the media, journalists, bloggers, comedians, and any number of other individuals and organizations, all of which are free to express themselves, organize, associate, and peacefully assemble to make their views heard.
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Press Roundtable  December 15, 2016  Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria  AMBASSADOR BAER:  Thanks everyone.  I know that this is supposed to be a conversation that is forward looking and that is looking specifically at the Austrian Chairmanship taking over next year, but in order to have some idea ...
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OSCE Observation of the U.S. General Elections | Statement to the PC

The United States recognizes and appreciates the strong interest among the participating States in our general election that was held on November 8. We were honored to have observers from more than 30 OSCE participating States and one Partner for Cooperation observe our elections as part of the OSCE election observation mission. We understand that ...
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Reply (2) to Russia on Constitutional Policing in the United States | Statement to the PC

I’d just like to respond to our distinguished Russian colleague. First, I didn’t say that the United States doesn’t have statistics, I said that a member of the Federal Government testifying before Congress might not have statistics at his fingertips — while he was testifying — that come from all 50 states. That’s different. Second, ...
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Reply to Russia on Constitutional Policing in the United States | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the Russian Federation for expressing concern about human rights. As colleagues are aware, the United States has regularly raised in the Permanent Council incidents in which African Americans were killed in encounters with the police.  We have not attempted to hide the fact that the United States ...
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Reply to Russia on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

I’d like to reserve my right to reply more fully to the list of cases raised by our distinguished Russian colleague, but I would like to say today that my delegation is happy to follow-up on any cases that our distinguished Russian colleague or others want to raise in good faith with us. And we ...
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Rights of the Child | Right of Reply at Working Session 16 of the 2016 HDIM

The distinguished delegate of the Russian Federation implied that re-adoption and the sale of children were widespread practice in the U.S. To the contrary, in our experience, the vast majority of adoptive placements result in successful and permanent placement of children into loving homes.  As in every country, sometimes the challenges are too big for ...
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Rights of the Child, Part 2 | Statement at Working Session 17 of the 2016 HDIM

The United States remains committed to combatting the sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism, in which an individual from one country travels to another country and while there engages in sexual activity with a child, is a serious concern – and a serious crime. As the United States is a country of origin of ...
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Tolerance and Non-Discrimination | Right of Reply at Working Session 11 of HDIM 2016

First, we agree with Poland that the term “Polish death camps” is factually wrong.  We just disagree that the use of the term should be criminalized. We thank the Russian Federation for raising hate crimes, and police killing in the United States.  We do not agree with the characterization that these crimes were nationalist.  But ...
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Rule of Law | Right of Reply at Working Session 8 of HDIM 2016

With regard to Guantanamo Bay, which of course is not a secret, President Obama has repeatedly made clear since taking office that his Administration is determined to close the detention facility and is taking all possible steps to reduce the detainee population.  However, we note that the United States does not transfer any individual in ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Right of Reply at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

Regarding the Representative’s presentation, we are aware of reports that a journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests was arrested for allegedly trespassing on private land last week. We have no reason to believe that the arrest was related to her status as a member of the press, nor to the subject matter of her ...
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Right of Reply at Working Session 4 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply in response to the Russian Federation. At the outset we would note that the Russian Federation failed to identify a single concrete action it is taking to promote either the civil, political or economic, social and cultural rights of its people. We explained why we have ...
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International Covenants on Human Rights | Statement at Working Session 3 of HDIM 2016

Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous Four Freedoms speech. He said that liberty rested on “freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.” He identified freedom of speech and freedom to worship as core civil and political rights. He defined “freedom from fear” as ...
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Democratic Institutions | Right of Reply at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

We would like to exercise our right of reply regarding the statements of the Azerbaijan Citizen Labor Rights Protection League. The gentleman implied that U.S. civil society is unable to do shadow reports on U.S. human rights performance. Nothing could be further from the truth, as those who monitor the activities of our independent civil ...
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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Ensuring Constitutional Policing in the United States | Statement to the PC

In April and May of 2015, the United States reported to the Permanent Council on the tragic death of Mr. Freddie Gray as a result of an encounter with the Baltimore Police, and subsequent protests and demonstrations that occurred in Baltimore. We also informed the Permanent Council that the U.S. Department of Justice had opened ...
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On Peaceful Protests and Ensuring Constitutional Policing in the U.S. | Statement to the PC

The past week has been a difficult one for the people of the United States. The fatal shootings by police of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, both African American men, are deeply troubling and have prompted peaceful public demonstrations and protests in Louisiana, Minnesota, and other cities throughout the United States. ...
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Protecting the Rights of Migrants in the U.S. | Statement to the PC

Last month at the Permanent Council, we said that we would return to the issue of the human rights of migrants in the United States. Let me begin by emphasizing that the United States takes its international obligations and OSCE commitments with regard to migrants very seriously. We are, after all, a country of immigrants, ...
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On the Execution of Kenneth Fults, Daniel Lucas, and Earl Forrest | Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino, and Switzerland for raising their concerns. As they noted, on April 12 the State of Georgia executed Kenneth Fults for the murder of Cathy Bounds in 1996.  On April 27, the State of Georgia executed Daniel Lucas for the 1998 ...
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Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on the U.S. migration record: Statement to the PC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I reserve my right to come back to this topic at a later time, but allow me to make some brief initial remarks today. Just to begin, colleagues, I’d like to point out, that this seems to be the recurrence of a pattern, whereby whenever concerns are raised in ...
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OSCE Needs Assessment Mission for General Elections in the United States: Statement to the PC

Following our invitation to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and participating States to observe the November 8 U.S. general election, the United States hosted representatives of ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly for a Needs Assessment Mission May 16-20.  This was the result of weeks of close ...
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Response to Russia on Certain Russian Citizens In Prison in the U.S.: Statement to the PC

The United States mission received the Russian-language version of this statement yesterday evening, and haven’t had time to fully consider it, and so I’d like to reserve the right to respond to Russia’s allegations in a future Permanent Council meeting. But I want to take this opportunity to clarify a few facts and to draw ...
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On the executions of Coy Wesbrook, Adam Ward, Joshua Bishop, and Pablo Vasquez: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns.  As they noted, on March 9, the State of Texas executed Coy Wesbrook for murdering Gloria Jean Coons, Diana Ruth Money, Antonio Cruz, Anthony Ray Rogers, and Kelly Hazlip in 1997. On March 22, ...
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Invitation to Observe the November 8 General Elections in the United States: Statement at the PC

On November 8, 2016, millions of American citizens will exercise their right to vote in the U.S. general elections. Americans will cast their ballots in the Presidential election, as well as the Congressional elections in which a total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress are up for election. In addition, they will vote to ...
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On the New Presidential Plan to Permanently Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility: Statement at the PC

I am pleased to inform the Permanent Council that on February 23, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Defense submitted a plan to the United States Congress to permanently close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has been a priority of the President from the first days ...
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On the executions of Gustavo Garcia and Travis Hittson: Statement at the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns. As they noted, on February 16, the State of Texas executed Gustavo Garcia for murdering Craig Turski in 1990. On February 17, the State of Georgia executed Travis Hittson for the 1992 murder of ...
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Reply to Russia on Department of Defense Investigations into Alleged Torture: Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the statement just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First of all, at the outset, I would like to say that the United States is very proud of our record as a world leader in respecting, promoting, and defending human rights and the rule ...
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On the execution of Christopher Brooks, James Freeman, and Brandon Jones: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns. As they noted, on January 22 the State of Alabama executed Christopher Brooks for the 1992 rape and murder of Jo Deann Campbell. The State of Texas executed James Freeman on January 27 for ...
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On the executions of Oscar Ray Bolin Jr. and Richard Masterson: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns.  As they noted, on January 7, the State of Florida executed Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr. for murdering three young women – Teri Lynn Matthews, Natalie Blanche Holley, and Stephanie Collins – in separate incidents ...
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On Allegations of Police Misconduct in Chicago: Statement to the PC

Events in the United States involving police conduct in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere continue to have a major effect on relations among minority groups, law enforcement, and government. These are issues that have confronted the American people for much of our history. Building trust between law enforcement officers and the communities ...
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Reply to Russia on Tolerance and Non-discrimination in the United States: Statement to the PC

I would like to thank the distinguished Russian ambassador for raising the need to address racism, intolerance, and violence in the United States. I assume, of course, that his statement reflects the Russian government’s genuine concern about human rights in the United States. And before I reply to the substance, let me take this opportunity ...
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On the Execution of Brian Keith Terrell: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, San Marino and Switzerland for raising their concerns. As they noted, on December 9, the State of Georgia executed Brian Keith Terrell for the 1992 murder of John Watson. The United States recognizes the debate on the death penalty both within and ...
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Response Regarding the Execution of Jerry Correll in Florida: Statement to the PC

Thank you Mr. Chair, and thank you to our colleagues from Norway and other delegations for raising their concerns. As noted, on October 29, the State of Florida executed Jerry Correll for the 1985 murder of his ex-wife Susan Correll, their five-year-old daughter Tuesday, Susan’s mother Mary Lou Hines, and her sister Marybeth Jones. The ...
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Response to the Statement Regarding Executions in the U.S.: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and all those who associated themselves with the European Union’s statement for raising their concerns. As they noted, on October 6, the State of Texas executed Juan Martin Garcia for the 1998 murder of Hugo Solano. On October 1, ...
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Reply to Russia on the Department of Defense Law of War Manual: Statement to the PC

Unfortunately, it was only this morning that the Russian delegation told us that it intended to raise concerns with the U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Manual. We received a copy of their statement as the Permanent Council began, so I’d like to reserve the right to return to this issue at a later ...
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Response to the Execution of Roderick Nunley in Missouri: Statement to the PC

Thank you to our colleagues from the delegations of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland for raising their concerns. The State of Missouri executed Roderick Nunley on September 1, for the kidnap, rape, and murder of 15 year-old Ann Harrison in 1989. Nunley’s co-conspirator, Michael Taylor, was executed for the same crime last year. The United ...
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Love, Justice, and Equality in the United States of America: Statement to the PC

I want to speak today more personally than I normally would. The title of this item on today’s agenda—love, justice, and equality in the United States of America—is purposefully broad. Since we’ve last gathered in this Council I have—like many Americans—wept tears of sorrow and tears of joy in response to events in my country. ...
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Abolition of the Death Penalty in the State of Nebraska: Statement to the PC

The State of Nebraska repealed the death penalty on May 27 through a vote of the state legislature. We thank the European Union and Norway for taking note of Nebraska’s decision. It was a decision reached through Nebraska’s democratic process, after an extensive public and legislative debate. The recent decision in Nebraska is part of ...
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Response Regarding the Execution of Derrick Charles in Texas: Statement to the PC

The State of Texas executed Derrick Charles on May 11. Mr. Charles was convicted of killing his girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett, her mother, Brenda Bennett, and her grandfather, Obie Lee Bennett, in 2002. The United States respects the concerns of its friends around this table. We reiterate that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ...
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On the Situation in Baltimore, Maryland: Statement to the PC

In our April 30 statement on the situation in Baltimore, Maryland, the United States informed the Permanent Council that the U.S. Department of Justice opened an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray after an encounter with Baltimore police, to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violations had occurred. On May ...
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On the Situation in Baltimore, Maryland: Statement to the PC

Many of us have watched the recent events unfolding in Baltimore. Local residents, clergy, civil rights advocates, and other community leaders have raised legitimate concerns in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray after an encounter with Baltimore police. The U.S. Department of Justice is working with local law enforcement, city officials, and community ...
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Response to Azerbaijan’s concern about excessive force used by police in U.S.: Statement to the PC

The United States would like to thank the delegation of Azerbaijan for raising its concern over excessive use of force by police in the United States. It is a legitimate and real issue that, importantly, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, my delegation, civil society organizations such as Human Rights Watch, and many others in the ...
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Statement on U.S. National Security Strategy for 2015: Statement to the PC

The United States would like to inform delegations that President Obama recently released publicly an updated National Security Strategy on February 6. This document provides a vision and strategy for advancing U.S. national interests, universal values, and a rules-based international order. The Strategy makes clear that the United States is committed to confronting shared threats ...
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On the OSCEPA Visit to the Naval Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay: Statement to the PC

On January 27, 2015, Isabel Santos of Portugal, Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, and Vice-Chair Mehmet Sevki Kulkuloglu of Turkey, traveled to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility at the invitation of the United States. The parliamentarians issued a joint statement on January 29, which said in ...
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Reply to Russian Federation on Rights of Children: Statement to the PC

Since I was not prepared for today’s statement from the Russian Federation, I’ll reserve the right to return as well, but allow me to make a few comments. Three general points. First, on the specific case raised by our distinguished Russian colleague — It might be the story covered by Reuters in an investigative journalism ...
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Release of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report: Statement to the PC

On December 9, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the Committee study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s former detention and interrogation program during the period following September 11, 2001. Earlier this year, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had asked the White House to declassify this ...
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On the Reaction in the U.S. to the Grand Jury Decision Regarding the Death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri: Statement to the PC

On Monday, November 24, a grand jury in St. Louis, Missouri returned a decision in which it determined that criminal charges should not be brought against the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year. The grand jury decision was met with disappointment and anger by ...
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