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News Archives






Phlip Crowley: Statement of Ongoing Situation in Yemen

The United States is deeply concerned by continuing reports of deaths and injuries at demonstrations throughout Yemen in the past week. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. People everywhere share the same universal rights to demonstrate peacefully and to freely assemble and express themselves. Violence must cease immediately. We call on the Yemeni government to quickly investigate these incidents and take all necessary steps to protect the rights of all its citizens in accordance with President Saleh’s commitments.

The current political impasse will be solved only when all parties engage in a process of peaceful negotiation and dialogue. We reiterate our call for a commitment by all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of all Yemeni people and provides an orderly path to a nation that is more responsive to the political and economic aspirations of the people. We believe this is the best approach to advance the interests of the Yemeni people.

 
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Philip Crowley: Statement on Sentencing of Alan Gross

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC

We deplore this ruling. Alan Gross is a dedicated international development worker who has devoted his life to helping people in more than 50 countries. He was in Cuba to help the Cuban people connect with the rest of the world. As Secretary Clinton said, “Alan Gross has been unjustly jailed for far too long. We are deeply concerned about his and his family’s well being.”

We call on the Government of Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release him. To allow him to return to his family, and bring to an end the long ordeal that began well over a year ago.

 
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Philip Crowley: Situation in Lebanon

The United States continues to follow closely the situation in Lebanon. It is essential that any Lebanese government abide by the Lebanese constitution, prevent any use of violence — including efforts to exact retribution against former government officials – and lives up to all of its international obligations, including U.N. Security Council Resolutions and its commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The make-up of Lebanon’s government is a Lebanese decision, but this decision should not be reached through coercion, intimidation, and threats of violence. Unfortunately, Hizballah, backed by Syria, engaged in all three in pursuit of its political goals.

The work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is of vital importance to stability, security and justice in Lebanon: Its work will continue. Any government that is truly representative of all of Lebanon would not abandon the effort to end the era of impunity for assassinations in the country. Especially at this challenging time, we call on all parties to maintain calm and exercise maximum restraint.

 


Philip Crowley: Press Statement on the Situation in Egypt

We are monitoring the situation in Egypt closely. The United States supports the fundamental right of expression and assembly for all people. All parties should exercise restraint, and we call on the Egyptian authorities to handle these protests peacefully.

As Secretary Clinton said in Doha, people across the Middle East – like people everywhere – are seeking a chance to contribute and to have a role in the decisions that will shape their lives. We want to see reform occur, in Egypt and elsewhere, to create greater political, social, and economic opportunity consistent with people’s aspirations. The United States is a partner of Egypt and the Egyptian people in this process, which we believe should unfold in a peaceful atmosphere.

We have raised with governments in the region the need for reforms and greater openness and participation in order to respond to their people’s aspirations – and we will continue to do so.

 


Philip Crowley: Statement on Belarus Sanctions

Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC

The United States announces today measures to respond to the brutal crackdown by President Lukashenka and the Government of Belarus in the wake of the presidential election of December 19, 2010. The disproportionate use of force and initial detentions of hundreds of demonstrators; charging of five opposition presidential candidates; ongoing raids against civil society, media and political parties; the closure of the OSCE’s office in Minsk; and a flawed vote count all represent major steps backwards for the country. These actions oblige the United States and others in the international community to act. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said in their joint statement of December 23, “the people of Belarus deserve better.”

In response to the continuing crackdown, the United States is undertaking the following steps:

The United States is revoking the general license that had temporarily authorized U.S. persons to engage in otherwise prohibited transactions with Lakokraska OAO and Polotsk Steklovolokno OAO, two blocked subsidiaries of Belarus’s largest state-owned petroleum and chemical conglomerate, Belneftekhim. All transactions with Belneftekhim and its subsidiaries are now blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13405.

The United States is significantly expanding the list of Belarusian officials subject to travel restrictions. We will enforce those restrictions to prevent the entry into the United States of individuals (and their family members) who are responsible for actions or policies related to the crackdown that began December 19.

The United States is working to impose financial sanctions against additional Belarusian individuals and/or entities pursuant to Executive Order 13405. The criteria for inclusion on these lists are participation in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions, or responsibility for human rights abuses related to political repression.

The United States continues to seek the immediate release of all detainees and the dropping of all charges associated with the crackdown; a halt to the harassment of civil society, independent media and the political opposition; and space for the free expression of political views, the development of a civil society, and freedom of the media. We will review and adjust our policies based on subsequent actions by the Government of Belarus.

These measures are not aimed at the Belarusian people. The United States is planning to expand this year by at least 30 percent its assistance to Belarusian civil society, independent media and democratic political parties, including for activities which increase Belarusians’ contact with open societies.

The United States is closely coordinating its response to the crackdown in Belarus with the European Union and other partners. In this regard, we welcome today’s decision of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council to impose travel restrictions and an asset freeze, and strengthen its support to civil society.

 
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Phillip Crowley: Concern for the Denial of Human Rights in Iran

Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC

The United States is deeply concerned that Iran continues to deny its citizens their human rights. Judicial cases, trials, and sentences continue to proceed without transparency and the due process rights enshrined in Iran’s own constitution.

We are particularly troubled by the recent execution of Dutch-Iranian national Zahra Bahrami, who was denied access to Dutch consular officials. Her execution is one of dozens carried out in recent weeks amid serious questions about the motives of the Iranian government and whether these prisoners were granted their rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United States urges the Iranian government to halt these executions and to guarantee the rights of its citizens in accordance with its international obligations.

 
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