Ambassador Elisabeth Millard
U.S. Senior Adviser for European Affairs
New York, New York
October 25, 2023
Thank you. Thank you, Madam Special Rapporteur, for your important work.
The Kremlin continues to intensify its domestic crackdown on independent voices of all kinds. Virtually all independent media outlets have been forced to close or relocate outside Russia, and hundreds of Russians have faced criminal charges for opposing Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine.
Russia continues to use repressive laws to harass or effectively outlaw independent civil society organizations and media outlets, including laws such as those on “foreign agents,” “undesirable organizations,” “LGBT propaganda,” and “discrediting Russia’s armed forces.”
Russia now holds hundreds political prisoners. They include more than 400 who are held in connection with their exercise for the freedom of religion or belief. We stand in solidarity with those unjustly detained in Russia – including Vladimir Kara-Murza and Aleksey Navalny – and call for their immediate release.
Impunity for human rights violations and abuses by Russian officials, including torture, attempted assassinations, and enforced disappearances, remains an urgent problem.
Madam Special Rapporteur, how can the international community better amplify the repressed voices of civil society in Russia?
I thank you.