A group of leading rights organizations has urged the United Nations to condemn the deterioration of civil rights in Russia, which has "constructed a legal landscape that is inconsistent" with international standards.
In an open letter to the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights House Foundation, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) noted that, while a recent session of the UN Human Rights Council put a spotlight on the "alarming trend" in Russia, the situation has only worsened since.
'We hoped that the Russian authorities would have changed their approach following such clear expressions of concern from such a broad number of states,' the open letter, dated July 7, said.
'Yet, since the statement (of concern) was delivered, the authorities have further expanded their crackdown, including through laws targeting members and supporters of civil society organizations labeled 'extremist' or 'undesirable' -- in some cases, targeting them by retroactive application of newly introduced unduly restrictive legislation,' it added.
Russia has come under heavy international criticism in the past year for several moves that have been seen as limiting civil rights.
The open letter pointed to the incarceration of Aleksei Navalny, and the use of the so-called 'foreign agents' law and the 'undesirable organizations' designation as examples of the 'harassment and prosecution of peaceful political and civil society activists, protesters and other dissenting voices in Russia.'
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