HRC 46th Session - Item 4 - Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. Cross-regional joint statement on Russia

Human Rights Council 46th session 

Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Cross-regional joint statement

9 March 2021


Madam President, 

I deliver this joint statement on behalf of [44] states.

We are concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in the Russian Federation, manifested in particular by the unlawful detention, arrest and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.

Mr Navalny was arrested and sentenced to a penal colony, based on a judgment that the European Court of Human Rights declared arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable. This occurred in the context of an attempt to poison Mr Navalny, which still has not been investigated and credibly explained. On 16 February, the European Court of Human Rights granted an interim measure with immediate effect, indicating Russia to release Mr Navalny. The Court had regard to the risk to his life and the overall circumstances.

These actions by Russian authorities, including the judiciary, are unacceptable and politically motivated. They run counter to Russia’s international human rights obligations, including the right to liberty and security of person, and the right to a fair trial, proclaimed in instruments of international human rights law – including the ICCPR and the European Convention of Human Rights, to which Russia is a party.

We are also concerned by the large number of arbitrary arrests of protesters supporting Mr Navalny. The overall developments related to his arrest, imprisonment, and oppression of his supporters are proof of shrinking civil society space. We strongly denounce these actions, which use the tools of the state to attack independent media and civil society, and to silence dissenting voices. We express concern regarding recent legislative amendments and constitutional changes, further restricting rights and freedoms.

We call on Russia for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Navalny and of all those unlawfully or arbitrarily detained, including for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion or belief. We urge Russia to respect its obligations under international human rights law, as members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.

We will continue to monitor Mr Navalny’s case and the human rights situation in the Russian Federation in general.

The full version of this statement will be available on the extranet.

I thank you.