Nikki Haley: Defending Human Rights, Fighting Dictatorships

NEW YORK, December 7 – At its first-ever Gala Dinner in New York City, the Geneva-based human rights organization UN Watch presented its 2019 Eleanor Roosevelt Award to U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, in recognition of her “uncommon courage in defense of the founding principles of the United Nations Charter,” and for “standing up for truth, fairness and human rights.”
Following are some of the important statements that Ambassador Haley made, as U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN during 2017-2018, on human rights situations around the globe, including her statements on behalf of human rights victims in North Korea, China, Russia, Congo, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Myanmar, Burundi and South Sudan.
On Venezuela:

[A]ll of that potential is being squandered by a government that cares only for preserving its own power, rather than promoting the freedom and welfare of its people. Through violence, massive repression, corruption, and financial mismanagement, the Maduro regime is showing its true colors as a dictatorship. It is denying the voice of its own people by imprisoning political opposition, rejecting its own democratically elected National Assembly, and putting forth sham elections that everyone understands are phony.
[Text] [Video 42:47]

On Cuba:

Today, the crime is the Cuban government’s continued repression of its people and failure to meet even the minimum requirements of a free and just society… What you cannot know because your government won’t let you know is that there were credible reports of almost 10,000 politically motivated detentions in Cuba in 2016 alone. That’s a massive increase in detentions over recent years.”
[Text] [Video 53:34]

On Nicaragua:

The Ortega regime has long controlled the media by ensuring that television and radio stations are in the hands of family, friends, and corrupt allies. Ortega banned opposition parties and rigged the Nicaraguan constitution to allow him three uninterrupted five-year terms…In classic authoritarian fashion, Ortega is attempting to destroy the most respected institution that is rightfully standing up for the Nicaraguan people: the Catholic Church.

[Text] [Video 1:41:04]

On Syria:

The Assad regime and its enablers, Russia and Iran, have a playbook for this war. First, they surround a civilian area. Next, they make the preposterous claim that everyone in the area is a terrorist, so every man, woman, and child becomes a target. Then comes the ‘starve and surrender’ campaign, where they keep attacking until the people no longer have food, clean water, or shelter. It’s a playbook of death. The Assad regime has spent the last seven years refining it with Russia and Iran’s help.
[Text] [Video 1:49:30]

On Saudi Arabia:

Countries like… Saudi Arabia occupy positions that obligate them to, in the words of the resolution that created the Human Rights Council, ‘uphold the highest standards’ of human rights. They clearly do not uphold those highest standards.
[Text] [Video]

On Iran:

Iran’s leaders abuse their own people. The Iranian people deserve better. The Iranian people know the horror of chemical weapons attacks. And so it is sad and horrifying, the irony that the Iranian regime now supports a dictator in Syria who uses these same evil weapons against his own people.
[Text] [Video 32:53]

On Myanmar:

We cannot be afraid to call the actions of the Burmese authorities what they appear to be: a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority. And it should shame senior Burmese leaders who have sacrificed so much for an open, democratic Burma.
[Text] [Video 22:35]

On North Korea:

The systematic human rights violations and abuses of the North Korean government are more than the cause of its people’s suffering. They are a means to a single end: Keeping the Kim Jong Un regime in power.
[Text] [Video 46:51]

On China:

On Russia:

When Russian forces entered the Crimean capital in 2014, it was a direct violation of the UN Charter. Russian forces seized the parliament building and imposed an illegitimate referendum on the people. Since then, Russia has pushed into eastern Ukraine, creating a humanitarian crisis that threatens millions.
[Text] [Video 1:28:11]

On Democratic Republic of the Congo:

The government must now work to release political prisoners, end politically motivated prosecutions, and guarantee the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. These changes are desperately needed – right now – in the Congo … The use of excessive force against civilians who simply want a say in determining their future is against everything the United Nations is supposed to stand for – that is ‘respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction.’
[Text] [Video]

On Burundi:

We’ve seen numerous instances where the Burundian government services use torture to crack down on protesters. This has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries and caused massive regional disruption. It is little wonder that the government has pushed back on the UN’s and the AU’s work in Burundi.
[Text] [Video]

On South Sudan:

Just last month, President Kiir promoted three generals who this Council sanctioned in 2015. These are men who led the slaughter of innocent South Sudanese children, women, and old men. Hundreds of victims reportedly were buried in mass graves. And the Government of South Sudan decided to promote their killers.
[Text] [Video 36:23]

UN Watch