Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on the Russian Federation
3 October 2022

Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on the Russian Federation

Russian Federation

On 26 September 2022, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement on the situation of lawyers and human rights defenders in the Russian Federation. The statement was delivered during the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The statement reads as follows:

Mr. President,

This is a joint statement by Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, the International Service for Human Rights, and Lawyers for Lawyers, endorsed by OVD-Info.

We are alarmed by mounting reports of Russia’s widespread violation of its international law obligations, including attacks against lawyers and other human rights defenders through arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture, silencing of independent reporting, and State-sponsored disinformation and misinformation. Russian authorities’ unlawful intimidation and silencing of legitimate activities of human rights defenders systematically undermines the rule of law and facilitates Russia’s unlawful war and atrocity crimes in Ukraine.

We call on the Council to insist that Russia:

▪ unconditionally release and withdraw charges against all those charged or detained on offences
related to peaceful anti-war opinion, expression, or assembly, or the legitimate activities of
lawyers and defenders;

▪ repeal repressive legislation, including laws on “foreign agents” and “undesirable
organizations;” and

▪ ensure fair trials including unfettered access to effective legal representation.
We call on the Members of this Council to vote in support of a Resolution establishing a Special
Rapporteur to monitor and report to the Council with recommendations on human rights in Russia.

Thank you.

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