HRC51: Item 4 – General Debate – Russia

HRHF video statement

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We join Russian and international human rights organisations in calling on the Council to formally address the human rights situation in Russia and mandate a special rapporteur on the situation.

Ten years ago, Russian authorities enacted their first “foreign agent” law – legislation that became Russia’s signature in stigmatizing, demonizing, and ultimately silencing the country’s civil society.

Since then, the government has greatly expanded its legislation, increasing sanctions and accelerating its arbitrary use to crack down on civil society.

The Russian authorities have gone even further since the renewed invasion of Ukraine, moving to simply eradicate any form of public dissent in a systematic manner.

This month Russia has formally ceased to be a member of the Council of Europe, thus depriving victims of Russian human violations of protections under the European Convention for Human Rights.

Moreover, the Russian Federation has failed twice in a row to appear at its review by the UN Human Rights Committee in March and July this year.

The Human Rights Council must not fail victims of human rights violations in Russia – they have nowhere to turn but to this Council.

In addition we must send a clear message that wealthy and powerful states are not beyond scrutiny.

We, therefore, call on the Human Rights Council to establish a Special Rapporteur mandate on the human rights situation in Russia.