HRC55 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association – Statement by Estonia on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries, delivered by H.E Ambassador Riia Salsa-Audiffren – 6 March 2024

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his dedicated work and the latest report containing the useful and practical Model Protocol for Law Enforcement Officials to Promote and Protect Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests.

We express our deep concern at the shrinking space for freedom of peaceful assembly. The right of peaceful assembly is a human right that states are not only obliged to respect and protect but also promote and facilitate. It is fundamental for enabling the full enjoyment and realization of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Law enforcement should in no circumstances hamper the right to peaceful assembly and association by imposing undue restrictions or interfering in peaceful assemblies.

Mr. Special Rapporteur, we share your view and reprimand any use of digital technologies in the context of peaceful protests that does not enable the exercise of this right and is incompatible with international human rights law. Measures must be taken by states to ensure that domestic law enforcement fully follows the international human rights law and standards.

The right of peaceful assembly and to peaceful protests, both online and offline, is essential for any society to thrive, and a priority for our states.

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

How can Member States and this Council contribute to the implementation of the recommendations in your report?

Thank you.