YABLOKO calls on the Russian Foreign Ministry to support the UN resolution on human rights defenders
Statement of YABLOKO Bureau, 18.12.2015
On 25 November, 2015, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution entitled “Recognizing the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection”. The UN General Assembly resolution urges the states to recognize the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders, condemn violence and discrimination against them and provide an opportunity for work of human rights defenders.
117 countries voted for the draft resolution, 40 states abstained and only 14 countries where human rights were systematically violated voted against. Russia turned out to be in one group with Myanmar, Burundi, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and was the only state among all the European and the CIS states which voted against the resolution, explaining its position that “the attempts to recognize specific rights of human rights defenders would lead to the separation of people and weakening of national human rights institutions”.
The YABLOKO party considers such a position far-fetched and untrue. Human rights defenders throughout the world play an important role in protecting human rights and freedoms. Russia is no exception here. Such national and regional human rights institutions, Ombudspersons, the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under the Russian President, public supervisory commissions and others are successfully cooperating with human rights defenders. At the same time Russian human rights defenders themselves are often persecuted. There have been cases of killings, beatings and unlawful arrests of human rights defenders. Most NGOs recognized “foreign agents” are human rights organisations. Obstruction of their activities has become wide spread [in Russia].
The concern about the situation of human rights defenders and the recommendations contained in the resolution are important for our country.
YABLOKO urges the Russian Foreign Ministry to reconsider its position and support the resolution “Recognizing the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection” at the forthcoming plenary session of the UN General Assembly.
Russia must abandon the anti-European course and return to the group of countries where human rights and freedoms are inviolable value.