Russian Human Rights Defenders and International NGOs urge Malawi to support creation of a special rapporteur for Russia 

Member states of United Nations Human Rights Council—which includes Malawi—are expected to vote in the coming days on a resolution to establish a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation.

A Special Rapporteur would independently collect, analyze, and present information on the human rights situation in Russia to the Human Rights Council, make recommendations on how to improve the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation, and speak on behalf of (and serve as a point of contact for) those facing intimidation, harassment, and the threat of reprisal for their activism or their human rights work.

Two statements urge Government of Malawi to support the resolution. The first was signed by more than two dozen Russian human rights defenders and organisations.

It narrates human rights violations in Russia and urges member States of the UN Human Rights Council to establish a mandate of a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation at its 51st session.

“Since February 2022, Russian authorities have arrested more than 16,000 people for participating in protests or voicing opposing or dissenting opinions, first and foremost in protest against actions of the Russian government in Ukraine.

“At the same time, more and more avenues for engagement with the international community are becoming closed to Russian human rights defenders and organisations,” reads part of the statement.

The signatories for the second include international organisations such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights House Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).

‘’Over the last several years, the Russian authorities have engaged in a systematic campaign of repression of human rights and restriction of civic space including by shutting down independent media, intimidating and harassing human rights defenders and activists, banning peaceful protest, and imposing impermissible restrictions on the operations of independent civil society organizations in the country, including those that seek justice and effective remedies for human rights violations,’’ the INGO statement says.

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