Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1216th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 7 February 2019
Ukraine consistently underscores its deep concern over the human rights situation in Russia and its significant departure in the past years from implementation of respective OSCE commitments. As repeatedly stated, there is a direct link between the internal oppression of human rights and freedoms in Russia and the external aggression of this country. The presence of this link re-emphasises the enduring relevance and validity of the OSCE comprehensive concept of security, which relates the maintenance of peace to the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The violations of human rights in the present-day Russia are clear, gross and uncorrected.
In particular, Russia so far ignores the recommendations of the OSCE Rapporteur’s Report of December 2019 under the Moscow Mechanism on alleged Human Rights Violations and Impunity in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation.
The Report’s findings confirmed a problem of total impunity of the Russian security forces that practice extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and tortures in secret prisons.
Today we are discussing the case of Anastasia Shevchenko, mother of three children, one of whom died when she was under arrest. Denial of access of Anastasia to her dying daughter in intensive therapy ward was a violation of Russian legislation. It showed the model of cruel attitude to civil activists and human right defenders practiced by the Kremlin regime. Even with “deep condolences” that followed.
The law on “undesirable organizations” violates the rights to freedom of expression and association set out in the OSCE founding documents, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
In this context, we remind the Russian Federation of the agreed OSCE commitments and responsibility to uphold them as adherence to these commitments provides the basis for participation and co-operation in this organisation.
In the current worrying circumstances, we strongly urge the Russian Federation to consider inviting an OSCE Human Rights Assessment Mission to thoroughly examine the situation and elaborate respective recommendations in line with the OSCE commitments and international standards.
In the meantime, we encourage the OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE autonomous Institutions to use all available assets and instruments to monitor and react to the developments in Russia.
We reiterate our call on the ODIHR to assist the Russian authorities to help them address non-compliance with a variety of undertaken commitments. Proactive engagement of the ODIHR with the Russian authorities and civil society are necessary, in our view, to overcome extremely worrying tendencies in the country that pose significant risks to the Russian society and societies beyond Russia’s borders.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.