Sunday, October 1, 2023

Russia: human rights “significantly degraded” since the war in Ukraine

The human rights situation “has deteriorated significantly” in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the first report of the expert commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council underlined on Monday.

“The situation was already in constant deterioration over the last two decades, partly due to the two wars in Chechnya that ended in 2009,” says rapporteur Mariana Katzarova, responsible for monitoring the human rights situation in Russia.

This report, which will be presented to the Human Rights Council during the session currently taking place in Geneva, does not appear to contain any surprises or shocking revelations, but the adoption of the rapporteur mandate by the Human Rights Council marked a defeat. for Moscow, in the diplomatic battle between Russia and kyiv’s allies in all UN forums since the invasion of Ukraine.

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The report documents that “Russian authorities have severely restricted freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression, both online and offline, and have fundamentally undermined the independence of the judiciary and ‘fair trial’ guarantees.

The speaker also denounces the legislative apparatus recently created “to muzzle civil society and punish rights defenders.”

“The often violent application of these laws and regulations has led to systematic repression against civil society organizations, which has closed civic space and independent media,” he laments.

“Impunity for human rights violations at the national level and the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the European Court of Human Rights have reduced the possibilities offered to victims to seek remedies and reparations,” Ms Katzarova further emphasizes.

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It highlights “the climate of impunity, the unpredictability of the changes introduced in the law, in addition to their ambiguity, their number and their scope, as well as their arbitrary application”, which have forced many Russians into exile.

Times of National
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