U.N. should reject Russia’s bid for human rights council seat

Mister Vice-President,

UN Watch is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in occupied Crimea.

According to the annual survey by Freedom House, the Russian occupation government in Crimea is rated Not Free, with its score on civil and political rights amounting to 8/100.

Russia is now running for a seat to the UN Human Rights Council. Under Resolution 60/251, members are obliged to uphold the highest standards of human rights protection. Focusing on its actions in Crimea alone, does Russia meet these criteria?

Let us consider:

First, individuals in Crimea are not free to practice their faith. According to the UN human rights office, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Hare Krishna and Jehovah’s Witnesses have been persecuted.

Second, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture by law enforcement officials, falsification of evidence and unfair trials remain common practice in occupied Crimea.

Third, many prisoners are transferred from Crimea to Russia, in violation of international law.

In light of the above, it is clear that Russia’s record in Crimea fails to meet the standards established by the United Nations for membership on its highest human rights body.

We therefore call on the General Assembly, in the elections to be held two weeks from now, to reject Russia’s bid for a seat on this Council.

Thank you.

 

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