United Nations Watch testimony before the 52nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, delivered on 31 March 2023 by Jillian Rolnick:
Mr. President, one year ago, citing gross violations by Russia in its aggression against Ukraine, the General Assembly voted to remove that country from this Council.
Sadly, the abuses are ongoing. Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killings, amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Repeated attacks targeting Ukrainian infrastructure have left hundreds of thousands without heat and electricity during the coldest months.
And yet, brave Ukrainians, led by President Zelensky, are resisting the invasion. Volunteer civilians and veterans are fighting back, tracking the movements of Russian troops, sharing information, and blowing up supply bridges. They risk arrest, torture, and even death.
Courageous Russians are also resisting, such as dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza. On April 11, 2022, in Moscow, he went on CNN and dared to criticize the war on Ukraine. He called the Kremlin “a regime of murderers.” Hours later, he was taken away, arrested, and now faces false charges and a lifetime in prison.
Now almost one year behind bars, Vladimir Kara-Murza’s health has deteriorated so much that he was unable to attend court for his recent trial.
Earlier in this session, Russia announced that they will run for a seat to try to return to this Human Rights Council. If member states consider the suffering of millions in Ukraine, and of the Kremlin’s political prisoners, they will know how to vote.
I thank you.