4 November 2022
by Pavel Chikov
The UN Human Rights Committee has published observations on Russia’s report on compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The 10 pages of Concluding Observations on the eighth periodic report of the Russian Federation  are a consolidated list of the major human rights problems in Russia. Here you can find the constitutional reform of 2020, problems with the independence of the courts, violations of the right to life during armed conflicts, torture, and domestic violence.
On several points, the Committee is particularly critical of the Russian authorities. For example, the Committee insists that the Russian Federation is in violation of many provisions of the Covenant, and in order to remedy the situation must:
🔹 Immediately repeal the laws on ‘military censorship’ laws and refrain from introducing new restrictions on freedom of expression;
🔹 revise the legislation on extremism and justification of terrorism so that it ceases to be excessively broad;
🔹 Investigate all cases of violence against demonstrators;
🔹 Repeal the laws on foreign agents and undesirable organizations laws;
🔹 end prosecution of journalists, activists, lawyers and human rights defenders and investigate cases of violence and attempts at poisoning (the names of Aleksei Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Dmitry Muratov, Petr Verzilov, Ivan Pavlov, Dmitry Talantov, Ivan Safronov and Maria Ponomarenko are mentioned);
🔹 end prosecution of political opponents and release Aleksei Navalny.
After Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe, the Human Rights Committee has become the main international body monitoring human rights in Russia. It considers not only individual communications from citizens, but also evaluates regular reports from states on how they are trying to comply with international human rights norms.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove