HRC48 – Item 10 General Debate – 7 October 2021 – Statement by ESTONIA to be delivered by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi

Madame President,

Estonia aligns itself with the EU statement.

Estonia remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the concerns. Unfortunately, Georgia itself is not able to practice effective control over these regions. It is worth recalling here again that according to the European Court of Human Rights judgment delivered in January this year the events occurring after the cessation of hostilities (following the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008) fall within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.

Estonia regrets the continued lack of access for OHCHR and other international and regional human rights mechanisms to Abkhazia and South Ossetia and calls on Russian Federation and the other de facto authorities of the occupied territories to grant immediate and unimpeded access for the international observers and rapporteurs to assess objectively the human rights situation.

It is a matter of serious concern that no one has been held accountable for the tortures and deaths that occurred during past decade. Lack of accountability contributes to a climate of impunity, which leads to further tensions and crimes. It must end and all the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

I thank you.