Human Rights Council 39: UK Statement On Russia

The UK welcomes Russia's engagement with the UPR, but remains deeply concerned about attacks against journalists, civil society and LGBT persons in Chechnya

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr President,

The United Kingdom welcomes the Russian Federation’s continued engagement in the UPR process. In follow up to our recommendations to Russia, we would like to make the following remarks.

We remain deeply concerned by the response of the Russian delegation to calls from the international community to investigate the persecution of human rights activists and LGBT individuals in Chechnya. The statement that they were “not able to find anyone” representing an LGBT organisation whose rights had been violated, is not credible. We continue to call on the Russian authorities to fully investigate the persecution and hold those responsible to account.

Together with our partners, we continue to call on Russia to grant international human rights monitors access to illegally annexed Crimea. We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate calls to immediately release all Ukrainian political prisoners, including Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh.

Mr President,

We are concerned that impunity for attacks on journalists and civil society activists remains a major problem in Russia. The Russian authorities must protect all activists and journalists, and allow safe space for civil society to operate. Severe restrictions remain on the freedom of assembly and association, and the freedom of expression, with a lack of opportunities for dissenting voices to be heard. Most recently, on 9 September we saw over 1000 Russian citizens detained for exercising their right to peaceful protest.

Thank you.