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Joint Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Russia | HRC50
June 24, 2022

The United States joined the following statement read by the European Union at the Human Rights Council.

United Nations Human Rights Council – 50th session

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

24 June 2022

Joint Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Russia

As Delivered by Lotte Knudsen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva

Mr. President,

The EU has the honour to deliver this joint statement on behalf of the group of countries.

We are deeply concerned about the substantial deterioration of the situation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the Russian Federation and we echo the worries expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in her annual update.

Over recent years, we have seen significant crackdowns and broad restrictions by Russian authorities of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, as well as freedom of religion or belief. The shrinking civic space has prevented and discouraged Russians from actively participating in public life. Recently, especially since the Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, repressions and attacks against dissenting Russian civil society representatives and organisations, human rights defenders, members of the political opposition and critical voices, independent media and journalists, researchers, and other individuals exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms have significantly increased. The increasing repression is a significant enabling factor of Russia’s aggression abroad.

We condemn the forcible dispersal of peaceful protests and mass arbitrary arrests and detentions of protestors, such as those speaking out against Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. We condemn censorship and the forced closure of independent media, advocacy groups and civil society organisations, such as internationally well-known and respected International Memorial and the Human Rights Center “Memorial”. We deplore the disinformation campaign fabricated and fuelled by the Russian authorities concerning their war of aggression against Ukraine and the consequences thereof. We are seriously concerned about increasingly repressive legislation, including laws targeting so-called “foreign agents” and “undesirable organisations”. We continue to call on Russian authorities to cease their brutal crackdown against members of the political opposition and their supporters and anti-corruption activists, exemplified by the ongoing mistreatment and politically motivated imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, the ongoing politically motivated trial against Andrei Pivovarov under the law on “undesirable organisations”, and the ongoing prosecution of opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza and many others who are now charged for allegedly spreading false information under Russia’s new repressive laws.

Furthermore, we denounce the ongoing serious violations of human rights in the Chechen Republic, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and attacks on media and human rights defenders, in an environment of impunity.

We also deplore the discriminatory laws and policies against LGBTI persons as well as persons belonging to religious minorities, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Russia.

Mr. President,

People in Russia, as individuals in any country, deserve their human rights and fundamental freedoms to be respected, protected and fulfilled and to benefit from this Council’s attention, including through increased scrutiny.

We call on the Russian Federation to abide by its international obligations and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for everyone in Russia. We also call on Russia to cooperate with international human rights mechanisms, such as the OHCHR and the Special Procedures of this Council.

We encourage the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Russia.

We stand in full solidarity with the people in Russia and encourage everyone to stand up for all those who continue to strive for their human rights and fundamental freedoms as the foundation for their future, often at great personal risk.

Thank you.

Co-signatories (June 24):

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia
  5. Cyprus
  6. Czech republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. Finland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Greece
  13. Hungary
  14. Ireland
  15. Italy
  16. Latvia
  17. Lithuania
  18. Luxembourg
  19. Malta
  20. Netherlands
  21. Poland
  22. Portugal
  23. Romania
  24. Slovakia
  25. Slovenia
  26. Spain
  27. Sweden
  28. Albania
  29. Andorra
  30. Australia
  31. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  32. Canada
  33. Iceland
  34. Japan
  35. Liechtenstein
  36. Marshall Islands
  37. Moldova
  38. Monaco
  39. Montenegro
  40. New Zealand
  41. North Macedonia
  42. Norway
  43. San Marino
  44. Switzerland
  45. Ukraine
  46. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  47. United States of America