Russian human rights defenders and international NGOs urge Malawi to support the creation of a special rapporteur for Russia – Malawi 24

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Member states of the UN Human Rights Council, including Malawi, are expected to vote in the coming days on a resolution to appoint a special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Russian Federation.

A special rapporteur would independently collect, analyze and present information on the human rights situation in Russia to the Human Rights Council, make recommendations on how to improve the human rights situation which is rapidly deteriorating and would speak on behalf of (and serve as a point of contact for) people facing intimidation, harassment and the threat of retaliation for their activism or human rights work.

Two statements urge the government of Malawi to support the resolution. The first was signed by more than two dozen Russian human rights defenders and organizations.

It chronicles human rights violations in Russia and urges member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a mandate as a special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation during its 51st session.

“Since February 2022, Russian authorities have arrested more than 16,000 people for participating in demonstrations or expressing opposing or dissenting views, primarily to protest Russian government actions in Ukraine.

“At the same time, more and more opportunities for engagement with the international community are closing to Russian human rights defenders and organizations,” the statement read.

The signatories of the second are international organizations such as Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights House Foundation, Human Rights Watch and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).

”Over the past few years, the Russian authorities have engaged in a systematic campaign of repression of human rights and restriction of civic space, including by shutting down independent media, intimidating and harassing human rights defenders and human rights activists, banning peaceful protests and imposing restrictions on the operations of independent civil society organizations in the country, including those seeking justice and effective remedies for human rights violations male,” the INGO statement read.

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