Press briefing notes on Russia

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssell

Location: Geneva

Date: 01 March 2022

Peaceful anti-war demonstrators continue to be arbitrarily arrested in Russia, with reports suggesting some 6,400 people have been arrested since Thursday last week. We understand the vast majority are released within hours, many after paying an administrative fine, while some are given prison sentences ranging from seven to 25 days under various laws. There are also reports of unnecessary and excessive use of force by police during and after the arrests.

We stress that arresting people solely for exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. We call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained and for the authorities to abide by their international obligations to respect and ensure the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly.