23 Mar 2018 21:10

Russia disappointed with stance of U.S., Georgia which voted in UN HRC against resolution on immediate shutdown of all secret prisons

MOSCOW. March 23 (Interfax) - Moscow is frustrated with the stance of the United States and Georgia, which voted against endorsing a resolution dealing with integrity of the court system in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and urging various countries to immediately close down all secret prisons.

"We are disappointed with the position of the U.S. and Georgian delegations, which voted against this resolution, and of those from several European Union countries, which abstained from voting. This demonstrative negligence of the principles of fair justice, and, what is most important, of humanism indicates a true attitude of these countries to encouraging and protecting human rights in the world," the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department said in a commentary.

Russia urged to make the U.S., the United Kingdom and other members of the anti-terrorism coalition disclose all information on human rights violations and probe all incidents.

"We are urging the international community, non-governmental human rights organizations, special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to make the U.S., the UK and other members of the 'global anti-terrorism coalition' disclose all information on human rights breaches they and their allies have committed during the 'war on terror', and conduct an objective and impartial inquiry into all incidents and bring those guilty to justice," the commentary said.

On March 22, the UN Human Rights Council at its 37th session adopted the resolution dealing with the integrity of the court system, whose draft was sponsored by the Russian delegation. The co-sponsors of the document were Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Tajikistan and Ethiopia.

The resolution contains an appeal to those countries, which have military courts or tribunals dealing with criminal inquiries, to enforce so that these bodies will be integral part of national court system and will apply the principles of court proceedings stipulated at international level as guarantees for fair justice. Each person under the jurisdiction of any country should enjoy the right to recognize its legal personality and should have the general access to a court system operating under the principles of honoring human rights and democracy, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Deviation from these criteria leads to serious and systemic human rights violations. The Guantanamo prison at the U.S. military base, where torture was regularly applied and continues to be applied to prisoners held without a trial and investigation sets a graphic example of this. In this connection, we are profoundly concerned by the Washington Administration's recent decision to give up the intention previously expressed to shut down this prison," the commentary said.

The resolution is calling on various countries to immediately shut down all secret penitentiaries under their jurisdiction or control and an urgent, independent and unbiased inquiry into all instances of the so-called extraordinary renditions, holding in secret custody, torture and a brutal attitude, including under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The need of holding accountable all persons involved in authorizing or perpetrating these crimes, including those who held or hold top state positions is highlighted.