Amnesty International held a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, at which it exposed an address to Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev.
Human rights activists say that the report was released on the 60th anniversary of adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Memorandum on Human Rights to President Medvedev” is an extensive document of 16 pages. The report lists practically all possible fields of human rights that are violated in Russia.
Amnesty International is specifically concerned about:
- the growth of xenophobia in Russia;
- suppression of meetings and demonstrations;
- the increasing number of kidnappings and extrajudicial killings in the republics of the Northern Caucasus;
- the need to cancel death penalty;
- violation of human rights in penitentiary institutions;
- unjust legal proceedings in Russia;
- suppression of freedom of speech in Russia’s mass media.
Amnesty International pointed out that the situation with human rights in Russia improved in certain aspects, although it mostly remained the same. In this connection human rights activists urged Dmitry Medvedev to pass from words to deeds. They said that they would like to see if the president could keep the promises he gave during his inauguration.
The above-mentioned report says that the number of hostility and racism motivated crimes has increased in Russia during the recent several years. Amnesty International also called to legally cancel death penalty in Russia.
It is worthy of note that Amnesty International does not compare situations in different countries, nor does it make any ratings. The organization believes that the situation with human rights in each country is unique.
According to Amnesty International, people are subjected to tortures in at least 81 countries of the world. Unjust court proceedings are held in at least 54 countries, whereas state authorities infringe upon freedom of speech in 77 countries.
Amnesty International offers China to observe human rights and guarantee freedom of press on the threshold of Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. In addition, the organization recommends the USA to close the military base in Guantanamo along with all secret prisons.
In the meantime, Anatoly Kucherena, a member of the Russian Public Chamber, a legal expert, believes that Russia does not need unfounded accusations from outside.
“All those phenomena exist not only in Russia but in many other countries of the world. We are ready to cooperate with European and US experts to withstand those problems,” Kucherena told RIA Novosti.
The lawyer said that the Russian civil society is ready to adopt other countries’ positive experience in solving such problems. “Let us think about it together. If there is positive experience on those matters, we are ready to adopt it and discuss the issues, but without unfounded accusations,” the official said.
“There is no need to urge us to act more effectively. We know what we need. I can assure you that the Russian authorities have been paying a lot of attention to ethnic and nationalist conflicts, for example,” Anatoly Kucherena said.
In addition, Kucherena said that all such reports show a hidden ideological motive. The official is certain that the report was another PR stunt of the organization.
“Amnesty International needs to show its work and advertise itself on specific issues. We do not say that we do not have any problems. We have problem, but they are being solved,” the official said.
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