Highlighting the situation for human rights in Russia, and calling for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate
On 12 October, HRHF welcomed the HRC’s adoption of a new resolution on Russia, renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation. This was a key priority for HRHF during HRC54 as we continued to highlight decades of violations committed at home and abroad by the Russian Federation. Two days prior, the UN General Assembly voted against Russia’s candidature to rejoin as a member of the Human Rights Council, HRHF used several of its statements at HRC54 to remind Council members that any State responsible for human rights atrocities and reprisals against HRDs is not fit for membership.
HRHF called for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate during an interactive dialogue on Russia on 22 September, as well as in a joint statement with INGOs ahead of HRC54. These statements built on calls over the last year from Russian and international civil society urging the international community to preserve this much-needed bridge for Russian civil society as Russian authorities attempt to isolate them from the international community.
Parallel to HRC54, HRHF joined other INGOs In a joint statement on 9 October, calling on UN Member States in New York to refrain from voting for Russia at elections for UN Human Rights Council membership. This call was echoed in several of HRHF’s HRC54 statements including on reprisals and on the human rights situations in Russia, as well as Crimea and the newly-occupied territories of Ukraine.
Highlighting the situation for political prisoners in Belarus and in the occupied territories of Ukraine
We will not forget Marfa Rabkova, or her Viasna colleagues, or the thousands of others in similar situations [in Belarus], and call on their release.
On 25 September, Human Rights House Foundation highlighted the situation for political prisoners in Belarus, including the death of detained Belarusian artist Ales Pushkin. HRHF continued to raise Marfa Rabkova’s case, noting that 17 September marked three years since she was first detained by the authorities for her human rights work.
In an interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on 9 October, HRHF once again drew the Council’s attention to those unjustly detained in Crimea including Vladyslav Yesypenko, Emir-Usein Kuku and Iryna Danylovych, calling for their release.
HRHF once again highlighted the case of Iryna Danylovych as well as others in need of urgent medical attention including Volodymyr Dudka during an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on 25 September. HRHF also continued to raise a concerted effort to erase Ukrainian identity, particularly among children, in the occupied territories.
In the context of HRC54, HRHF and People In Need hosted an evening devoted to the human rights situation in occupied Crimea on 26 September at Cinerama Empire Cinema, Geneva. The event, sponsored by the Czech Mission and EU Delegation, included opening remarks from Ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, and a screening of Nariman: The Voice of Crimea followed by a panel discussion with representatives of Ukrainian civil society and journalists. The evening also featured an exhibition of photographs from Kyiv-based photographer Albert Lores.
Free expression in Serbia and the rise of radical anti-rights groups in Georgia
At the adoption of the UPR of Serbia on 3 October, HRHF offered recommendations as well as underlining the safety of journalists including pressure and smear campaigns and the rise of SLAPPs in the country.
On 11 October, HRHF raised the rise of radical anti-rights groups in Georgia, as well as concerns for the human rights situation in Russian-occupied South Ossetia, and recommended that the capacity of the Public Defender’s office is increased.
Read our HRC54 statements
Find out more about our HRC54 side events