Russia must repeal domestic violence decriminalization, says HRC member Machua
Building on the growing international coalition against Russia’s recently introduced legislation decriminalising domestic violence, LI Human Rights Committee Member, Rosemary Machua, has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to repeal a law, reminding the Russian state of its obligations under international law.
Reacting to the news that the Russian President had after all signed the controversial bill into law earlier this week, Ms Machua said: “On behalf of Members of the Africa Liberal Network in the Eastern Africa Region, I call upon President Vladimir Putin to repeal the domestic violence criminalization law and return the bill to the Russian Parliament (DUMA) for review and strengthening of the criminalization of domestic violence.”
Ms Machua who also sits on the Africa Liberal Network Bureau as Vice-President (ALN – LI cooperating organisation), reminded of the international obligations of the Russian Federation which put the state at odds with this highly controversial legislation. “The Russian Federation is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and signatory to the international human rights instruments which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 that protects and defends the lives and dignity of human beings worldwide. As such it has an obligation not to legislate nor enforce laws that are in contravention with the human rights convents” she added.
In her concluding remarks she stressed on the devistating effects the law can have to avert justice and become a powerful weapon for silencing the Russian opposition and anti-Putin voices .”Further to the afore, the repeal of the crime of domestic violence may be applied to torturing and killing any perceived opponents of the Russian Government and the ruling party in their houses and then purported it was domestic violence whose “family suspects” cannot be prosecuted in courts of law due to decriminalization in the legislation. It’s most unfortunate that this law is being enacted following reports of arbitrary detentions, disappearances and deaths of opponents, media practitioners and human rights defenders in the Russian Federation down through the decades” she said.
LI Vice-President on the Bureau and Chair of LI Human Rights Commitee Markus Loening has also openly condemned the bill reiterating on the fact that it contributes to an already deteriorating situaiton with human rights on the ground. In a statement released last week, he further reassured that “as a champion in the fight against domestic violence pioneered through LI Human Rights Committee’s Campaign on the globalization of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, Liberal International will continue to stand side by side those who have been victims of domestic violence and who have been denied justice.”
The leader of Yabloko Emilia Slabunova (LI full-member) has called on the Russian Duma to adopt a special law on liability for domestic violence, as well as to create an efficient state mechanism for the prevention of domestic violence, assistance and rehabilitation of victims.