Statement on Human Rights Concerns in Russia

Delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 6 May 2021.

Madame Chair,

It is with regret that we must again address the issue of the situation for human rights in the Russian Federation. However, recent developments illustrate the ever-shrinking space for opposition, civil society, and independent voices.

The prosecutor’s move to list Navalny’s political organisation as an extremist organisation is yet another example of the intensifying judicial persecution of political opposition in the Russian Federation. The subsequent detention of the organisation’s defense attorney Ivan Pavlov and search of his legal aid organisation Team 29’s premises is also a matter of great concern.

Likewise, Norway remains deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating conditions for media freedom in Russia. Independent journalists and media actors are subjected to judicial harassment. In addition, laws against so-called "foreign agents" and "undesirable organisations" are used to censor free and independent media, including by imposing so-called “labelling” requirements. This puts severe limitations on the work of the media.

We again call on Russia to protect the fundamental freedoms of its citizens and respect the international obligations the country has signed up to, including relevant OSCE and Council of Europe commitments.

Thank you