An official website of the United States government

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Russian Federation
Statement at HRC54 as Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
September 22, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Russian Federation

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

And thank you Special Rapporteur Katzarova for shedding light on the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia.

As Russia’s forces commit continued atrocities in Ukraine, the Kremlin has dramatically intensified its domestic crackdown.

Russia holds nearly 600 political prisoners, many of whom, like Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilya Yashin, and Aleksey Gorinov, are imprisoned simply because they dared to criticize Russia’s unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine.

Two wrongfully detained American citizens, Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, continue to languish in Russian prisons on baseless charges. We call again for the immediate release of all those unjustly detained.

The Kremlin’s violence and repression against its own people affects all Russians, especially members of marginalized and underserved communities. We are deeply troubled by continued serious human rights violations, including torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, particularly in the North Caucasus region and will continue to call for accountability for those responsible.

We urge you to continue using your mandate to promote justice for those who have been denied their fundamental freedoms and their human rights.

Madam Special Rapporteur, how can the international community support Russia’s brave remaining independent voices?

I thank you.