HRC 48th Session – Interactive Dialogue with special rapporteur on truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – 16 September 2021 – NB8 intervention

Delivered by Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi

Madam President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Estonia.

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

We would like to thank you for your report and hard work you have done in this field.

The duty of accountability is grounded in international law. The international human rights obligations of States are fully applicable to transitional processes. Each country has the duty to investigate and punish serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and have relevant national legislation in compliance with international law. It is vital to build strong institutions capable of preserving rule of law and ensuring human rights for all.

The use of the military and special militarized units to suppress peaceful demonstrations, in particular during processes of transition, accompanied by the use of mass violence, imprisonment, torture, ill-treatment and even murder, requires a swift international response – and the identification and the prosecution of the perpetrators. It is unacceptable that some countries, publicly or implicitly, support another country’s violent regime in order to use the situation for their own interests. This further encourages an atmosphere of impunity.

Mr. Rapporteur,

States should not provide asylum or protection to persons who have committed serious violations of human rights in order to shield them from criminal prosecution. What tools could the international community use to maximize adherence to this important principle of international law?

I thank you Mme President.