One of the world’s most egregious human rights offenders, Russia is taking increasingly extreme and violent measures to silence dissent in the country.

Following its unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine last year, the member states of the U.N. General Assembly voted to suspend Russia’s membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Now, Russia has announced it is running to regain its seat on the Council.


Russia Loses Re-election to the U.N. Human Rights Council

UN Watch held a successful campaign to prevent Putin from getting re-elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council following its expulsion from the council in 2022. 

UN Watch, the Human Rights Foundation and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights released a joint report ahead of the October 10th vote detailing Moscow’s abuses. UN Watch also addressed the 47-nation council on October 9th, a day before the vote, to urge them to oppose Russia’s bid.

Putin failed to get re-elected after getting only 43% of the vote in the U.N. General Assembly. 


UN Watch’s Successful Campaign to Expel Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council

Putin’s Russia has repeatedly been elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council, serving four terms on the body between 2006 and 2022, when its membership was finally suspended.

UN Watch lead the campaign to expel Russia from the top human rights body in 2022 through its advocacy at the U.N. and through amplifying the voices of Russian dissidents, such as imprisoned opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza.

A Timeline of Events

UN Watch Urges Accountability at the United Nations for Russia's Crimes

Putin’s Russia has repeatedly been elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council, serving from 2006 to 2009, 2010 to 2012, 2014 to 2016, and 2021 to 2022, until its membership was finally suspended. 

UN Watch lead the campaign to expel Russia from the top human rights body by speaking at the U.N. on various occasions, providing a platform to courageous dissidents like imprisoned opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza and circulating a draft resolution calling for Russia’s removal.

Appeal to U.N. Member States to Reject Putin's Reelection Bid

UN Watch testified at the U.N. Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Ukraine following Russia’s illegal invasion. We appealed to U.N. member states to deny Russia a seat on the Council and highlighted brave Russians opposing Putin’s regime, such as imprisoned dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Evgenia Kara-Murza Accepts UN Watch's Human Rights Award 
on Behalf of Imprisoned Husband

Evgenia Kara-Murza, wife of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza, accepted on behalf of her husband the Morris B. Abram Award, UN Watch’s highest human rights distinction, on November 17, 2022.

“Russian opposition leader, renowned journalist, historian, filmmaker, and now political prisoner, Vladimir Kara-Murza is the most brilliant and courageous dissident I have ever met,” said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch Executive Director. “He was chosen for this award on account of his courageous defense of freedom, liberal democracy and universal human rights.”

UN Watch Testifies on Russia's Atrocities
Before the U.N. Human Rights Council


22 Videos

Courageous Activists at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

Every year, brave dissidents who speak out against some of the world’s worst human rights abusers are brought together in Geneva. 

UN Watch leads a coalition of more than 25 human rights NGOs in organizing the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy and providing a voice for the voiceless. Throughout the years, brave dissidents have spoken out against the Putin regime.

"I don't know if we are courageous, stubborn maybe, and perhaps a little selfish. But what we certainly are is unwilling to be complicit in the crimes of a regime that claims to speak on behalf of our country"

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