6 March 2022
by Nikolai Svanidze
Statement by the Commission on Political Rights of the Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civil Society
As might have been expected, when the Russian army conducts military actions in a neighbouring country, there are grave consequences, including for the exercise of human rights.
We, members of the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civil Society, are not issuing political assessments or making political proposals. However, we are stating that at least hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian citizens have already perished and all recent events have threatened the exercise of many social and individual civil and human rights.
The cessation of broadcasting by the radio station Ekho Moskvy and the television channel Dozhd and their blocking on the Internet have become a symbol visible to all, although this is far from the sole example, of the drastic increase in risks to the exercise of basic civil rights and freedoms.
In the current situation we propose the following:
1. There is room in society for various points of view on the situation in Ukraine and on Russian-Ukrainian relations. However, this last week has demonstrated that the cost of using the army to resolve the problems we have is too great.
We must halt military actions on the territory of Ukraine as quickly as possible and move on to the resolution of all contradictions between the two countries within the framework of negotiations.
2. As long as military actions are still under way, all their participants must remember to observe the provisions of humanitarian law.
3. Free speech and other basic freedoms should not be subject to additional restrictions. Especially since neither martial law nor an emergency situation has been introduced in Russia.
The additional restrictive measures already approved, including amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Law, should be reconsidered.
Translated by Marian Schwartz