HRC49-Item 10 General Debate – 30 March 2022 – Statement by Estonia

Mr President,

Estonia remains deeply concerned that in parallel with the Russian unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful aggression against Ukraine and the occupation of new territories, the human rights situation in the regions of Georgia, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, occupied by Russia 15 years ago, continues to deteriorate. The list of human rights violations in these regions include ethnic discrimination, torture, ill-treatment, illegal detentions, restriction of freedom of movement. The occupation forces also banned the medical evacuations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, the information on recruitment of people from the occupied regions of Georgia for military action in Ukraine are extremely disturbing and in violation of international law.

Estonia regrets that the Russia’s occupying power continues to prevent the OHCHR and other international human rights monitoring mechanisms from entering both occupied regions of Georgia, leaving the local population extremely vulnerable. 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. A week ago, on March 24, the European Court of Human Rights reaffirmed its earlier judgment from 2021. The events occuring during the hostilities in August 2008 and after had fallen within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.

Thank you.