Press Releases Russia: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repression

Russia: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repression

The European Union honours the victims of political repression in Russia and commends those who continue to work on the remembrance of past victims and against attempts to manipulate and erase the historical memory of political repression in the country.

Over recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented disrespect for human rights in Russia. The dismantling of organisations like Memorial is an irreplaceable loss for the Russian people and the rest of Europe.

Russia also exploits and twists history to justify its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. The Russian authorities have increased domestic repression by cracking down on opposition politicians, civil society organisations, human rights defenders, independent media and journalists and critical voices with repressive legislation and politically motivated sentences.

Reports of repeated ill-treatment, harassment and physical and psychological torture by Russian prison authorities are deeply disturbing. Russian authorities will be held to account.

We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Yuri Dmitriev, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilya Yashin, Alexei Gorinov and Ivan Safronov. We remain extremely concerned about the health conditions of Vladimir Kara-Murza, Alexei Navalny and Alexei Gorinov, critically aggravated by prison conditions and ill-treatment, and call on Russian authorities to ensure that all political prisoners receive appropriate health care.

The increasing harassment of human rights lawyers in Russia is another deeply concerning trend. Lawyers have a fundamental role in upholding the rule of law and the human rights of defendants. They must be allowed to practice their profession safely and without fear.

We call once again on Russia to abide by fundamental rights enshrined in its constitution as well as by international law and human rights law. We urge Russia to abandon its oppressive legislation, including the laws forbidding truthful information about Russia’s war against Ukraine, the penalisation of so-called “discreditation” of Russia’s armed forces and the laws on so-called “foreign agents” and “undesirable organisations”, which are used to suppress civil society and independent voices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *