IBAHRI condemns Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and urges the immediate suspension of Russia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council

Friday 25 February 2022

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the ongoing and unjustified military invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign state, by the Russian Federation, as a flagrant violation of international law. Russia’s military incursion is in full breach of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, which states that ‘the UN and its Members (…) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.’

IBAHRI Co-Chairs the Immediate Past Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg Dr Jur hc, and Mark Stephens CBE, jointly stated: ‘The IBAHRI calls on the International Community to pressure the General Assembly to suspend Russia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council and to ensure that relevant international mechanisms will be immediately triggered to ensure accountability for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.’

The Co-Chairs added: ‘The IBAHRI urges the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its military invasion into Ukrainian territory in abidance with the UN Charter. Parties to an international armed conflict are bound to respect international human rights and humanitarian law. The civilian population must be protected in accordance with international law, and anyone who commits abuse must be brought to justice.’

The Russian Federation is a member of the UN Human Rights Council until 2023. Ahead of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which begins on Monday 28 February 2022, the IBAHRI calls on the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Russia's membership in accordance with 2006 GA Resolution 60/251.

Pursuant to Resolution 60/251, Article 8, the UN General Assembly may suspend the rights of membership of any member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights. To take this action, a two-thirds majority of voting members is required. Further, the IBAHRI recalls Article 9 of Resolution 60/251, which compels all members elected to the UN Human Rights Council to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. It is on this basis that the IBAHRI urges the UN General Assembly and its members to call for an immediate vote to suspend Russia’s membership to the Human Rights Council.

The IBAHRI recalls that Russia and Ukraine are both party to a number of regional and international human rights treaties, and are therefore bound by international human rights law, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Fundamental rights including the right to life, freedom from torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment and the prohibition of arbitrary detention cannot be derogated, even during an armed conflict.


Notes to the Editor

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Website page link for this news release:
Short link: https://tinyurl.com/2exdjf6u
​​​​​​​Full link: https://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI-condemns-Russias-military-invasion-of-Ukraine-and-urges-the-immediate-suspension-of-Russias-membership-of-the-UN-Human-Rights-Council

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