ICIPR statement at EMRIP 15th session. Agenda # 10. Future work of the Expert Mechanism

Agenda # 10. Future work of the Expert Mechanism, including the focus of future thematic studies.

Thank you, Madam chair.

Dear colleagues, during the first day of the Expert Mechanism session, we witnessed the scene when the Russian Federation representative intimidated a member of the indigenous Russian delegation, Mrs. Yana Tannagasheva, here in this room.

As you remember that after the incident, we, as members of the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia (ICIPR), made a statement of protest against the unacceptable behavior of the Russian state representative in the UN building, where all delegates must be protected by international law and even by the spirit of the UN philosophy. And we are grateful to many indigenous and states’ delegations who also protested against the aggressive approach of the Russian representative.

That was an unacceptable and extraordinary incident within the UN building, but unfortunately, we are used to such behavior inside Russia. The way of harassment, intimidation and criminalization of indigenous rights defenders, human rights activists in general, independent media is usual for the Russian authorities.

Just after our statement, we received the letter from the hosting provider of our web page “Indigenous Russia,” where we publish news from this forum for our indigenous brothers and sisters in Russia. Today this is the only information channel independent from authorities that regularly publishes information about indigenous peoples of Russia. Our web host said they received the order from the Russian government to delete our web page from the Internet within 24 hours because we publish information about indigenous peoples’ rights violations and the war in Ukraine, which is different from the official Russian propaganda.

That is how Russia immediately reacted to the words of truth about indigenous rights violations that sounded in this hall. We, anyway, continue our work to deliver information about indigenous rights violations in Russia to international society. Today we prepare a briefing note on the influence of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on the indigenous peoples of Russia, which we will deliver to the EMRIP secretariat.

We support the decision of the EMRIP to extend the time for the militarization of indigenous lands report and kindly ask you to include the topic of the influence of the Russian war in Ukraine on indigenous peoples both of Ukraine and Russia in this thematic study. As members of the ICIPR, we will be glad to provide additional data on this topic for the Expert Mechanism.

For better understanding of the topic during the preparing such report we request Expert Mechanism to organize consultations or expert workshop with participation of indigenous peoples of Ukraine and Russia on that topic. 

Our only request to the Expert Mechanism is – do not include in this work representatives of the Russian state, Russian experts in the UN or NGOs from Russia which supported aggressive policy of President Putin towards Ukraine as representing a side of the conflict responsible for the war. Thanks for your attention.

Dmitry Berezhkov. International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia (ICIPR)