Archive for the 'Russia' Category

“I was tortured by Russian-sponsored militants,” Ukrainian woman tells UN


Irina Dovgan, a Ukrainian woman who recently made international headlines after she was publicly abused by Russian-backed militants in eastern Ukraine, testified today before the UN Human Rights Council.

Invited by UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group accredited with the United Nations, Ms. Dovgan testified before the world forum about the arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, torture and public humiliation she suffered.

She discussed the situation of human rights in eastern Ukraine, one week before the council will hear a new report and debate the subject.

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Russia blames Ukraine, West for the conflict

Russia organized an event at the UN to blame Ukraine and the West for the ongoing conflict.

On September 9, in the midst of the 27th session of Human Rights Council, the Russian UN Mission, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, and the Russian Peace Foundation held a parallel meeting on the conflict in Ukraine. This meeting specifically focused on the human rights dimension.

The meeting opened with strong patriotic sentiments from the Russian panelists. Regarding the Ukrainian refugees in Russia, Anatoly Salutsky, from the Russian Peace Foundation who moderated the panel, said he was happy to see them “coming home, which is completely understandable.” He was followed by Andrey Nikiforov, a Russian diplomat. Nikiforov focused on the peaceful measures the Russians are taking to alleviate the situation in Ukraine. He first drew attention to the deteriorating conditions of social infrastructure in the conflict zone, arguing that “humanitarian supplies from Russia have eased the situation but not enough to deal with the crisis.” He added, “the recently proposed peace plan supported by President Putin contains 7 points that will make it possible to resolve the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. In this context, it is paramount to follow the conclusion of Geneva declaration, including the language rights of the Russian-speaking minority. We continue to call upon Kiev to follow up with their end of the deal.”

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UNGA adopts resolution calling on states not to recognize changes in status of Crimea

On March 27, the UN’s General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine.”   The resolution essentially underscored the invalidity of the 16 March referendum held in Crimea, used as justification for Russia’s illegal annexation of the area.  It also called on all States not to recognize any change in the status of Crimea.

Yet, remarkably, 11 States voted against the resolution and 58 abstained from the vote.

Voting Board on Ukraine resolution

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‘For Russia, protection of human rights and freedoms is a basic priority,’ FM Lavrov tells UNHRC after being elected new member

Sergey Lavrov

Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey V. Lavrov,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of
the Russian Federation

at the high-level segment of the
25th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Last year Russia was once again elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council by an overwhelming majority. We appreciate this support which we view as an acknowledgement of our country’s constructive approach to this sphere of multilateral cooperation.

For the Russian Federation, the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms is a basic priority enshrined in its Constitution. As President Vladimir Putin has stressed, the relevant provisions of Russia’s fundamental law establishing these rights and freedoms are unalterable, We continue to work on developing civil society and improving the standards of living of our people.

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Tomorrow: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to address top UN rights body as its newest elected member

U.N. Secretary-General Ban shakes hands with Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov as they pose for a photograph at the U.N. headquarters in New York

GENEVA, March 2 – Despite Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in open breach of the UN charter and international law, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Geneva tomorrow to address the United Nations Human Rights Council, as Moscow takes its seat for the first regular session since being elected as a new member of the 47-nation body. Click here for High Level speakers’ schedule.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will give the opening speech, followed by Human Rights Council president Baudelaire Ndong Ella, General Assembly president John Ashe, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Samantha Power is slated to represent the U.S. , which has yet to confirm President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to the Geneva council.  

Other new members to take their seats on Monday are China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Venezuela and Pakistan joined last year.

“Hypocrisy on this scale undermines the credibility of the human rights council and of the United Nations as a whole,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.

“The UN’s top human rights body is supposed to protect victims and hold the world’s worst perpetrators to account, not turn them into judges and prosecutors.”

Despite having a notoriously corrupt judiciary and no rule of law, Russia is planning to submit a draft resolution the council on “judicial integrity.”

Russia’s foreign ministry, quoted by Tass, announces: “The draft resolution is aimed at strengthening international guarantees to make justice fair and unbiased.

Moscow is also deeply concerned about ensuring respect for principles at the council: “We believe that the UNHRC activity should be based on equal interstate cooperation.”

“All interested parties should give up double standards in this aspect,” the ministry said.

How abusers trumpet their HRC election to silence dissent

On November 12, the UN General Assembly elected 14 new members for the Human Rights Council. Among the 14 elected were 6 countries that UN Watch evaluated as unqualified for membership: Algeria, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam. Their newfound membership of the UN’s top human rights body will be yet another occasion for these abusers to spew propaganda and silence dissidents and civil society – often the only ones who dare to tell the truth about these regimes. Since Tuesday’s election, members of the respective governments and representative of their UN Missions have commented on the election explaining that their victories were due to the international recognition of their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights.


“The Chinese government attaches great importance to the promotion and protection of human rights. It has made remarkable achievements and has vigorously developed international cooperation in the field of human rights …China is fully qualified to be elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. China’s election to the UN Human Rights Council Tuesday also serves as the international community’s acknowledgment of China’s significant achievements in the field of human rights.”

Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, 13 November 2013 (Source)


“Cuba’s selection is nothing less than a recognition of its consistent stance of rejecting double standards and the persistent efforts by Western powers to use the Council for political ends, to manipulate the issue of human rights in service of its interests and to convert this body into an inquisitor tribunal for the nations of the (global) South who don’t submit to their designs.”

Anayansi Rodriquez, Cuba’s UN ambassador in Geneva, 13 November 2013 (Source)

Saudi Arabia

“The Kingdom’s election to the Human Rights Council for the third time in a row is yet another confirmation of its pioneering role in the council and the service of human rights issues.”

Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Ma’alami, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, 12 November 2013 (Source)

“This election confirms the Kingdom’s efforts in the enhancement of justice, equality and the protection and promotion of human rights at both domestic and international arenas, as well as the Kingdom’s firm positions towards issues of fair human rights in the world … This election confirms the Kingdom’s prestigious status and international respect and recognition for its roles in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Dr Al-Aiban, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, 13 November 2013 (Source)


“The UN election was a ‘good result.’ We will work in order to strengthen cooperation and dialogue and create constructive working atmosphere in the council.”

Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, 12 November 2013 (Source)

“This is sound evidence that the international community supports our country’s policy of strengthening the collective base of the U.N. work in encouraging and protection of the human rights.”

Russian Foreign Ministry, 13 November 2013 (Source)


“This determination reflects the Vietnamese Party and State’s view of human rights as a common aspiration of human being as well as their consistent policy of respecting and ensuring human rights, and enhancing international cooperation in this field … Vietnam’s election to the UNHRC with the highest vote is of great significance. It shows the international community’s acknowledgement and appreciation of Vietnam’s policies and achievements in its comprehensive renewal process, including the building of a state of law that offers a better guarantee of citizens’ rights.”

Pham Binh Minh, Foreign Minister of Vietnam, 13 November 2013 (Source)

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