Written by Mikhail Falaleev
Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova
29 April 2022. RG.RU
The United States and its satellites have violated all human rights of Russian citizens. Violations of these rights were discussed in detail at the ‘Human Rights and Sanctions’ roundtable, which was held in Moscow under the chairmanship of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova.
The sanctions, which have been announced against Russia by Western countries for over eight years, are aimed not only at the Russian leadership. They also infringe on the basic human rights of ordinary Russians. We are talking about exactly those rights that the entire Western world, led by the United States, allegedly stands for. Millions of Russians are deprived of the right to work, housing, health, education, movement, rest and leisure. Even for life itself. In general, for everything that Western ‘democracy’ supposedly fights so passionately for.
All these violations were listed in the speeches of the roundtable participants - members of the Expert Council under the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, parliamentarians, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, educational and scientific institutions, regional ombudsmen.
Thus, President of the All-Russian organisation ‘IPA Russian Section’, Lieutenant General, Doctor of Law, Honoured Lawyer of Russia, Professor Yury Zhdanov, emphasised the legal inconsistency of sanctions and, most importantly, their inhumanity.
Firstly, Yury Zhdanov considers that sanctions are not confirmed by international law. This right is rather cynically trampled on and ignored. Russia, without violating any of its international obligations, suddenly became a victim of obstruction unilaterally. And, secondly, ordinary people, deprived of medicines, medical care, necessary goods and services, suffered from this obstruction. This is despite the fact, Yury Zhdanov notes, that none of the Western colleagues at the UN tried to study the difference between the laws of Russia and other countries before imposing sanctions.
Moreover, the West does not notice at all the humanitarian catastrophe that Ukrainians have created in the Donbass. That is why it would be necessary to impose sanctions against Ukraine! Only according to the official, documented data of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, more than 2,600 civilians of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic who died from massive shelling from large-caliber artillery, mortars, grenade launchers and small arms became victims of the genocide of the peaceful Russian-speaking population of the DPR and LPR over the eight-year period from 2014 to 24 February 2022. At least 5,500 civilians were injured, more than 2,200 civilian infrastructure facilities were destroyed or damaged.
Yury Zhdanov cites other previously announced data of international experts, given in the 18th report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the human rights situation in Ukraine as of June 2017. So, during the armed conflict in the Donbass, more than 10,000 people were killed, almost 24,000 more were injured. Hundreds of Russian activists in Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, as well as independent journalists became victims of the genocide committed by Ukrainian nationalists.
By the way, in accordance with the basic principles of international law, discrimination on racial or national grounds is prohibited. Nevertheless, Kiev has adopted a discriminatory Law on the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine. He has actually erased the Russian-speaking population of Donbass and the Crimean Peninsula not only from the historical past and deprived them of their ethnic identity but also subjected them to total discrimination, which is a violation of the UN Charter, the basic principles of international law and international legal documents, in particular the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007. The Declaration states that ‘indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind, … recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources’.
Russia, unlike Ukraine, did not violate this Declaration. But sanctions, for some reason, have been imposed against Russia.
Of course, Russia will challenge all these sanctions in international courts.