I am speaking on behalf of Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway,
Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and my
own country Portugal.
We condemn the violent suppression of peaceful protests in cities all over
the Russian Federation on Saturday, 23 January.
In the Paris Charter, as well as in the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, we have reaffirmed that everyone has the right to
peaceful assembly. Russian law enforcement authorities, however, have
cracked down upon protests that were predominantly peaceful. In a
number of instances, police applied disproportionate use of force and
detained more than 3.800 individuals, including journalists and other
media actors, as reported by independent observers.
We support the call of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights on the Russian Federation to guarantee the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly and uphold the respect for human rights.
Journalists and media actors should be able to do their job of reporting.
The Union of Journalists and Media Workers has recorded over 50 cases
of obstruction of journalists’ professional activities, including violence,
arbitrary detentions and intimidation. We support the call of the OSCE
Representative of Freedom of the Media on the Russian Federation to
investigate these incidents promptly. We urge the Russian Federation to
respect the commitments we as OSCE Participating States have agreed
on regarding the safety of journalists, including the OSCE Ministerial
Council decision 3/18 on the Safety of Journalists.
We urge the Russian authorities to immediately release those who have
been arbitrarily detained and reiterate our call to set Mr Navalny free.