53rd session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3 - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on
the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Intervention by the Nordic-Baltic States delivered by H.E. Darius Staniulis, Ambassador of Lithuania to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva
28 June 2022
Thank you President.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and my own country Lithuania.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for the report and its two addendums.
Advancing accountability and ending impunity for human rights violations, including those related to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, both online and offline, is a priority for our states.
We recognize the digital sphere as a unique space for assembly and association. However, we are concerned about the growing trend of imposing restrictions, including internet shutdowns and digital surveillance.
It is alarming that civil society activists, including human rights defenders, journalists and media workers, are facing increasing repression, criminalization and judicial harassment. They are often depicted as a threat to national security or public order, instead of enabling and protecting their rights.
We call on states to refrain from actions that undermine the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and to ensure robust and timely accountability for serious crimes committed against activists and protesters. Also, as the report points out, it is particularly incumbent on the international community to respond to serious human rights violations, in order to ensure accountability and deter further violations.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, how could the cooperation between national, regional and international mechanisms be strengthened in order to advance accountability?