NEWS

Human rights talks: EU voices concerns at Russia's new laws and practices

EU-Russia human rights consultations in Brussels were held in an open atmosphere, according to an EU press release, “allowing the EU to raise its concerns on the developments affecting human rights” in Russia. 
 
On 10 December, the EU and Russia held their sixteenth round of human rights consultations, which focused on the rule of law (judiciary, law enforcement bodies, prisons), and civil society, including media freedom, the situation of NGOs in Russia “and the set of worrisome new legislation shrinking civil society’s space in the country.” The rights of the child and issues of discrimination and racism were also addressed.
 
The EU raised a number of concerns related to specific human rights issues in Russia, in particular the deteriorating conditions in which non-governmental organisations operate in Russia further to the series of legislative changes (treason law, internet filtering, law on demonstrations, law on foreign funding for NGOs, libel law) which have been initiated since last June, the prospect of new laws affecting the LGBTi community and the harassment of human rights defenders and opposition leaders. The EU also deplored the lack of investigation into several criminal cases (Magnitsky, Estemirova, Politkovskaya).
 
Russia shared its concerns over the rise of racism and xenophobia in the EU, pointed to the lack of EU investigation into secret detention facilities and raised the issue of stateless non-citizens in a number of EU Member States. Both sides agreed to provide further clarification on individual cases of concern.
 
In the run-up to the consultations, the EU met representatives of Russian NGOs in Moscow on 3 December and international NGOs in Brussels on 26 November.
 
The next round of EU-Russia human rights consultations should take place next spring. The EU hopes to be able to hold the consultations in Moscow, as these have so far only been organised in the European Union. (EU Neighbourhood Info 
 
Read more
 
Press release
 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre report - Ashton concerned at Russia's new NGO law (11-07-12)
 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre report - Ashton concerned over curbs on public rallies in Russia (12-06-12)
 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage - Russia
 
EU Delegation to Russia


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