EU nations seek to call out rights violations in Russia

Sep 15, 2022, 8:43 AM | Updated: 9:05 am

GENEVA (AP) — All European Union nations except Hungary are moving forward at the U.N.’s human rights body to hold Russia’s government accountable for a crackdown on media, arbitrary arrests, restrictions on free speech and other rights concerns after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine this year, diplomats said Thursday.

Back-channel negotiations at the Human Rights Council by 26 EU nations hope to give teeth — such as by appointing a rights expert to work on Russia — to efforts to keep tabs on rights violations in Russia. The move, if successful, would add a new element of scrutiny on Russia. A team of U.N.-backed investigators is already looking into rights abuses related to the war in Ukraine.

Efforts to draft a resolution, spearheaded by EU member Luxembourg, would create a “special rapporteur” on Russia to chronicle and call out rights violations in Russia — such as arbitrary detentions, arrests of members of civil society, the closure of NGOs and independent press groups, said a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Two Western diplomats said Hungary, whose government under Prime Minister Viktor Orban has resisted some EU efforts to punish Russia over the war, had not joined with other EU members in pushing for the resolution.

The Russian government has taken a number of steps to limit dissent over the war at home. Russia had been a member of the 47-member state council until earlier this year, when it suspended its participation on its own just as the U.N. General Assembly was set to strip Russia of its council membership over the war.

The council’s four-week autumn session began Monday, and resolutions will not be voted on until the final days of the session.

On Tuesday, Vaclav Balek, the Czech ambassador in Geneva, spoke on behalf of the EU to say the bloc condemned media censorship, the silencing of independent voices and abuse of Russian legislation that forbids “so-called ‘discrediting’ of the Russian armed forces and raising of any allegations of crimes committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine.”

Russia has fired back, accusing some EU nations of reviving “Nazism” and faulting some Western countries for restricting broadcasts of the Russia Today network, among other things.


Follow all AP stories on the impact of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

4 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

4 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

9 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

12 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

12 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

EU nations seek to call out rights violations in Russia