Reinsalu: UN Russian human rights resolution a 'diplomatic victory'

Urmas Reinsalu.
Urmas Reinsalu. Source: J. Azanovo / URM foto

The United Nations resolution to appoint a special rapporteur to monitor human rights in Russia is a "diplomatic victory" and was jointly initiated by Estonia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said on Friday.

The resolution, agreed on Friday by the UN's Human Rights Council, calls on Russia to ensure fundamental rights and freedoms and meet commitments it has taken under international agreements.

The resolution will appoint a special rapporteur tasked with monitoring the situation in the country and reporting to members of the Council about negative changes.

It was adopted with 17 votes in favor, six against and with 24 abstentions.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the decision "demonstrates that regardless of their interests and foreign policies, Council members unequivocally condemn the deteriorating political situation and repressions in Russia".

Reinsalu said: "Today's decision is a diplomatic victory and Estonia was one of the initiators of the resolution. It is also a logical follow-up to the decision this spring to suspend Russia's membership in the Council for launching a full-scale war against Ukraine."

He said while Russia is waging war in Ukraine it is also repressing its citizens at home.

"Who risk violence and political persecution for standing up for their principles and a democratic future. Russia is now also using conscription to exert pressure on dissidents," he said, also highlighting the case of activist Vladimir Kara-Murza who has been charged with treason for protesting against the war.

The foreign minister said the resolution is a "clear expression of support and encouragement from the international community to all these brave people".

The move is the first time that the 16-year-old Human Rights Council has set up a special rapporteur to examine the rights record of one of its so-called 'P5' members, which hold permanent seats on the Security Council, Reuters wrote.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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