Today’s Council action sends a clear message to the Russian authorities that the international community will continue to monitor, report on, and respond to human rights violations in the Russian Federation.
Over the last year, Russian human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and other activists have called on member States to renew the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. They noted Russia’s continued widespread and systematic curtailment of human rights and civic space. Russian voices have drawn attention to the authorities’ continued efforts to dissolve independent media and arbitrarily imprison journalists and civic activists. Likewise, Russian civil society has highlighted the widespread harassment of human rights defenders and the shuttering of their organisations by the Russian authorities. In renewing the Special Rapporteur’s mandate today, the Human Rights Council reinforces the international community’s commitment to ensure that Russian civil society will not be isolated, despite the efforts of the Russian authorities to do so.
We also welcome the Council’s decision to increase logistical support to the Special Rapporteur and note that, in the next 12 months, the mandate holder will have the resources to hold a series of consultations with Russian human rights defenders. This kind of engagement is critical for Russian civil society as well as the Special Rapporteur as she strives to document a growing level of repression across the Russian Federation. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur can continue to rely on international civil society partners for support.