Report to the 134 Session of UN Human Rights Committee in relation to the review of the 8th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation

In its Concluding Observations of March 2015, the Committee recommended the Russian Federation

take all the measures necessary to ensure that: (a) its policies vis-à-vis drug users deprived of their liberty fully conform to its obligation to effectively protect them against the pain and suffering associated with the withdrawal syndrome and that timely, adequate and scientifically based medical assistance to counter withdrawal symptoms is available in practice; (b) adequate legal safeguards are in place to prevent interrogations or any other procedural actions being conducted while the person is suffering from the withdrawal syndrome; and (c) due process rights of drug users deprived of their liberty, including not to be compelled to testify against themselves, are effectively respected in practice.

By January 2022, the Russian Federation had not fulfilled this recommendation. At present, neither Russian law enforcement nor the penitentiary system have introduced protocols to address withdrawal symptoms in people who have been arrested/detained by police. Russia continues to resist the introduction of such effective and WHO-recommended measures to address opioid dependence as Opioid Substitution Therapy.

This report contain information about how heavy-handed drug policies and drug enforcement drive violations of the Covenant and how the Government of Russia can address related human rights violations.