Putting Human Rights at the Center of U.S. Foreign Policy

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is committed to a world in which human rights are protected, their defenders are celebrated, and those who commit human rights abuses are held accountable. Promoting respect for human rights is not something we can do alone, but is best accomplished working with our allies and ...
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Political Developments in Georgia

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States is deeply concerned by recent political developments in Georgia. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and avoid any actions or rhetoric that could escalate tensions or result in violence. We urge the Georgian government to act in line with its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and to reinforce its commitment to the principles of ...
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U.S. Decision to Reengage with the UN Human Rights Council

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The Biden administration has recommitted the United States to a foreign policy centered on democracy, human rights, and equality. Effective use of multilateral tools is an important element of that vision, and in that regard the President has instructed the Department of State to reengage immediately and robustly with ...
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Observance of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

NED PRICE, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON The United States in recent years has joined the international community on February 6 in observing the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). The United States remains committed to ending this egregious human rights abuse and supporting survivors of FGM/C, both at home and around the world. According to the United ...
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The Sentencing of Russian Opposition Figure Aleksey Navalny

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is deeply concerned by Russian authorities’ decision to sentence opposition figure Aleksey Navalny to two years and eight months imprisonment, replacing his suspended sentence with jail time. Like every Russian citizen, Mr. Navalny is entitled to the rights provided in the Russian constitution, and Russia has international obligations to respect equality before the ...
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National Freedom Day: Deepening Our Resolve to Fight Human Trafficking

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE Today marks National Freedom Day, a day that commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the joint resolution that established the Constitution’s 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States.  It is a day when, thanks to the decades-long push of Richard R. Wright and his fellow civil rights advocates, we commemorate our dedication to the ...
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G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey Navalny

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union. Begin Text: We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United ...
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Determination of the Secretary of State on Atrocities in Xinjiang

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States of America has led the world in holding the perpetrators of the most heinous human rights abuses accountable. From the Nuremberg Trials, to the creation of the Genocide Convention in 1948, to the declaration of ISIS’s recent genocide against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities ...
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Arrest of Aleksey Navalny

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States strongly condemns Russia’s decision to arrest Aleksey Navalny. We note with grave concern that his detention is the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures and independent voices who are critical of Russian authorities. Confident political leaders do not fear ...
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Additional Restrictions on the Issuance of Visas for People’s Republic of China Officials Engaged in Human Rights Abuses

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly.  The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country. Today, I am announcing the imposition ...
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Public Designations of Current and Former Government Officials Under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State

Public Designations of Current and Former Government Officials Under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Promoting and advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms continues to be a top priority for ...
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On the Occasion of International Anticorruption Day and International Human Rights Day

OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON On the occasion of International Anticorruption Day and International Human Rights Day, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury announced sanctions designations and visa restrictions on perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse.  Below is a summary of  these actions taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818 and Section 7031(c) of ...
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Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D. Brownback Briefing on Rollout of U.S. Actions Against Religious Freedom Violators

SAMUEL D. BROWNBACK, U.S. AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM VIA TELECONFERENCE MR BROWN:  Thank you, Moderator, and thanks to everyone who’s joined the call.  This is an on-the-record briefing on the rollout of U.S. designations against religious freedom violators, including Country of Particular Concern, Special Watch List, and Entity of Particular Concern designations.  Sam Brownback, ...
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On the EU’s Adoption of a Human Rights Sanctions Framework

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States welcomes the European Union’s adoption of its global human rights sanctions framework. Today, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, we note that this groundbreaking accomplishment will further protect human rights worldwide. The EU’s new measures give its member states a powerful tool to promote ...
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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on People’s Republic of China Officials Engaged in Coercive Influence Activities

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to spread Marxist-Leninist ideology and exert its influence all over the world. The CCP’s United Front Work Department funds and supports overseas organizations to spread propaganda and coerces and bullies those who would oppose Beijing’s policies. The United Front frequently intimidates ...
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The Cuban Regime’s Cruel Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The U.S. government strongly condemns the Cuban regime’s harassment of activists peacefully protesting the imprisonment of human rights defender Denis Solís González. We urge the Cuban government to dismiss this unjust sentence and release him without condition. The regime has repeatedly targeted Mr. Solís González, a musician and member ...
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U.S. Reinforces Commitment to Secure, Stable, Democratic, and Self-Reliant Afghanistan at 2020 Conference

The United States participated in the 2020 Afghanistan Conference on November 23-24, the sixth quadrennial gathering to coordinate international development support for Afghanistan. The conference was hosted virtually by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. At the conference, the United States ...
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This Week in Iran Policy

“The Maximum Pressure campaign against the Iranian regime continues to be effective. It deprives the regime of funds to carry out its malign activities. Reducing that pressure is a dangerous choice, bound to weaken new regional partnerships for peace and strengthen the regime.” – Secretary Pompeo, Tweet of November 18, 2020 Commemoration of the Massacre ...
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Briefing With Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams On Developments in Iran and Venezuela

MS ORTAGUS: Thank you so much and good afternoon, everybody. I know we’re having this call right after we did the press conference with the Secretary and we have another briefing later today, so apologies that we’re piling all of you up today. We’re going to try to allow for as much time as possible for ...
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Abduction of Opposition Leaders in Belarus

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States is deeply concerned by the reported abduction September 7 in Belarus of Coordination Council member Mariya Kalesnikava, Spokesman Anton Rodnenkou, and Executive Secretary Ivan Krautsou, and the attempted forced expulsion over the border to Ukraine September 8. We commend the courage of Ms. Kalesnikava and of the Belarusian people in peacefully asserting ...
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Designations of Iranian Human Rights Violators

On August 21, the U.S. Department of State announced visa restrictions on 14 Iranian individuals for their involvement in gross violations of human rights on behalf of the Iranian regime, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.  This action was taken pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations ...
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International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE On this third annual International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, the United States stands with the victims of terrorism and their families. The pain and suffering caused by terrorism is a heavy burden that the American people know all too well. We honor the strength and resilience of terrorism victims ...
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Designations for Iranian Human Rights Offenders

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Friday, August 21 marks the annual Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. To both remember and honor these victims, today the U.S. Department of State is announcing visa restrictions on 14 Iranian individuals for their involvement in gross violations of human rights on behalf of the Iranian regime, the world’s leading ...
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This Week in Iran Policy

FACT SHEET OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON “Today, I expanded the scope of Iran metals sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear, military, and ballistic missile programs. Knowingly transferring any of these 22 metals to Iran is now sanctionable. Our pressure will continue until Iran behaves like a normal nation.” –Secretary Pompeo, Tweet, July 30, 2020 STATEMENT BY SECRETARY POMPEO ON THE EXPANSION ...
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On Sanctioning Human Rights Abusers in Xinjiang, China

PRESS STATEMENT MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century. The Trump Administration has led the world’s effort to impose tangible costs on the PRC’s continuous campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, intrusive surveillance, forced labor, forced population control, involuntary ...
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Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Fiscal Year 2021 State Department Budget Request

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON, DC SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you very much.  Today I’m here to present the – and testify about the President’s 2021 Budget.  It requests nearly $41 billion for the State Department and USAID, enabling both agencies to protect U.S. citizens, increase American prosperity, and advance the development of democratic societies.  And critically, ...
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Syria Sanctions Designations

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, the State Department and Treasury Department continued the United States’ sanctions campaign against the Assad regime by releasing 14 new designations under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act and other authorities. This campaign began last month with the first round of Caesar Act designations. We have named today’s tranche of designations the Hama and Maarat Al-Numan sanctions. These names are meant to ...
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Public Designation of Russian National Ramzan Kadyrov Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights (July 20)

Public Designation of Russian National Ramzan Kadyrov Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights (July 20) MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, the Department of State is publicly designating Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020.  This designation ...
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The Conviction of U.S. Citizen Paul Whelan in Russia (June 15)

The Conviction of U.S. Citizen Paul Whelan in Russia (June 15)   The United States is outraged by the decision of a Russian court today to convict U.S. citizen Paul Whelan after a secret trial, with secret evidence, and without appropriate allowances for defense witnesses. We have serious concerns that Mr. Whelan was deprived of ...
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On the Chinese Communist Party’s Obscene Propaganda (June 6)

On the Chinese Communist Party’s Obscene Propaganda (June 6)   The Chinese Communist Party’s callous exploitation of the tragic death of George Floyd to justify its authoritarian denial of basic human dignity exposes its true colors yet again. As with dictatorships throughout history, no lie is too obscene, so long as it serves the Party’s ...
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Iran’s regime spends billions to limit citizens’ internet access (June 3)

Iran’s regime spends billions to limit citizens’ internet access (June 3)   Iran’s regime has spent at least $4.5 billion to build a domestic intranet that would further tighten restrictions on everyday Iranians’ internet access. The regime has long blocked thousands of web sites. Now the government is seeking greater control over content through a ...
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31st Anniversary of  Tiananmen Square (June 3)

31st Anniversary of  Tiananmen Square (June 3)   Today we honor the brave Chinese people whose peaceful calls for democracy, human rights, and a corruption-free society came to a violent end when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent the People’s Liberation Army into Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, armed with tanks and guns. While the Tiananmen ...
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In Defense of Democracy in Venezuela (May 29)

In Defense of Democracy in Venezuela (May 29)   The United States reaffirms our commitment to Venezuela’s legitimate National Assembly and the 100 deputies across all party lines under interim President Guaido’s leadership, who daily face threats and intimidation by the illegitimate former Maduro regime. We strongly condemn the illegitimate former Maduro regime’s most recent ...
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World Press Freedom Day (May 2)

World Press Freedom Day (May 2) MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE On World Press Freedom Day, recognized around the world on May 3, we highlight the critical role of independent media in facilitating the open exchange of information and ideas so vital to free, prosperous, and secure democratic societies. This year, as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, it is ...
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This Week in Iran Policy (March 13)

This Week in Iran Policy (March 13)   “The United States calls on the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately release on humanitarian grounds all wrongfully detained Americans being held in Iran. The United States will hold the Iranian regime directly responsible for any American deaths. Our response will be decisive.” – Secretary Pompeo, Press ...
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Human Rights Report for 2019

Human Rights Report for 2019 From the time we declared our independence as a free nation, the United States has committed itself to the ideals of democracy, individual freedom, equal protection under the rule of law, and the protection of human rights.  Our nation was founded on the premise that all human beings are created ...
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Crimea is Ukraine (February 26)

Crimea is Ukraine (February 26) PRESS STATEMENT MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE February 27 will mark the sixth anniversary of Russia’s attempted annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and the United States reaffirms: Crimea is Ukraine.  As underscored in our July 2018 Crimea Declaration, the United States does not and will not ever recognize Russia’s claims of sovereignty over the peninsula.  ...
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