Brussels 11.03.2023 “Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is accompanied by ever increasing oppression at home. The expansion of oppressive legislation, the absence of the rule of law, political misuse of judiciary, state-sponsored wartime propaganda and disproportionate use of force by Russian authorities against any sign of opposing views leave no space for pluralistic debates and public protest” reads the statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell on internal political oppression and human rights violations.
“This week, the crackdown continued with the persecution of a daughter and a father for the girl’s pro-peace drawing, the sentencing of student blogger and the labelling of Transparency International as a so-called “undesirable organisation”.
“The European Union stands in solidarity with all those Russians who have dared to raise their voice and criticise Russia’s war and who have been detained, prosecuted or imprisoned for this.
“In parallel, other representatives of Russia’s political opposition, human rights defenders, journalists and activists continue to be kept behind bars as a way of persecuting these individuals and intimidating Russian society as a whole, including Yuri Dmitriev, Alexey Navalny and members of his network, Andrei Pivovarov and Ivan Safronov.
“More than a year of escalating outwards aggression and inwards oppression have inflicted critical damage on Russia’s international image and on the moral, political and legal foundations of Russian society as a whole.
“Russia must release all political prisoners, abandon its oppressive legislation, including the laws forbidding information about the truth regarding Russia’s war, the penalisation of so-called “discreditation” of the Russian army and the laws on so-called “foreign agents” and “undesirable organisations” used to suppress civil society and independent voices.
“All those responsible for acts of aggression and oppression must be held to account, and Russia should respect the rule of law, its own Constitution and uphold its obligations under international law, including in the field of human rights”.