Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on the Russian Federation
On 21 March 2022, Lawyers for Lawyers alongside Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the Law Society of England and Wales, and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, delivered an oral statement on the Russian Federation during the General Debate. The General Debate took place during the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the Law Society of England and Wales, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and Lawyers for Lawyers condemn the Russian Federation’s flagrant violations of international law. There are numerous allegations that Russia’s leadership has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
Within Russia, authorities are violating rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. Since Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, thousands of peaceful anti-war demonstrators have been arbitrarily detained in Russia, with numerous reports of torture and ill-treatment, and denial of detainees’ access to lawyers.
In 2021, Russia shut down the human rights and legal aid organization, Memorial, on spurious grounds. The legal “Team 29” closed its doors after unfair trials against its lawyers and clients, including lawyer Ivan Pavlov. Lawyers are increasingly falsely labelled as “foreign agents” by Russian authorities. Three lawyers from Chechnya were physically attacked by officials while providing legal assistance to their clients.
Russia’s government persists in flouting the rule of law, including the UN Charter. We urge the Council to ensure that all its members uphold General Assembly Resolution 60/251, requiring all members of this Council “to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Thank you, Mr. President.
Click here to see video statement at 6:38:43.
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