Eleven countries in UN Human Rights Council session condemn Russophobia

Eleven countries in UN Human Rights Council session condemn Russophobia

Eleven participants in the 51st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council came up with a joint statement condemning discrimination against Russians and Russian speakers on Monday.

The statement, co-sponsored by Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, was read out by Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Nikita Zhukov.

"We are deeply concerned with regard to the unprecedented scale and depth of discrimination unleashed by the authorities of a number of countries against Russians and Russian speaking people in recent months. Since the end of February of this year, Russians have been discriminated systematically on ethnic and linguistic grounds," the statement reads.

"We call upon governments of these countries to immediately stop Russophobic hysteria and persecution of Russians and Russian speaking people and return to the responsible fulfillment of their human rights commitments in the anti-discrimination sphere," the 11 countries added.

According to the document, "widespread practices include the refusal to provide educational, medical, banking and other services, the imposition of discriminatory measures against Russian businesses, seizure of Russian property, prevention from participation in sporting activities, cultural events." "Russian experts are intentionally harassed in international and regional human rights mechanisms. To this must be added physical assaults, threats, insults, intentional damage of property. Ethnic Russians are being deprived of their jobs, Russian families are being evicted from apartments in violation of rental agreements. This list could go on," Zhukov pointed out.

"At the highest political level there are calls to exclude Russian culture from world heritage," he noted, adding: "The practice of imposing visa restrictions against Russian citizens, on a large scale and indiscriminately, runs counter to obligations of these States under the international law and can amount to collective punishment."

"Widespread discrimination against children with Russian citizenship or even Russian family roots is of particular concern," the statement added.

The 11 nations stressed that discrimination against Russians and Russian speakers violated "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the obligations of the States concerned under international human rights covenants, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and other international treaties in the field of promotion and protection of human rights."

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