NEWS

European Parliament concerned over worsening civil society climate in Russia

The human rights situation in Russia has deteriorated drastically in the last few months, with the adoption of a series of laws that could be used to further restrict opposition and hinder freedom of expression, the European Parliament stated in a resolution adopted today. A press release said MEPs were gravely concerned about "the deteriorating climate" for the development of civil society in Russia, pointing to the recent legislation on demonstrations, NGOs, defamation and the Internet.
 
Parliament is "deeply disappointed with the verdict and the disproportionate sentence" against the punk band Pussy Riot, describing it as "politically motivated intimidation of opposition activists". It hopes the sentence will be reviewed and reversed in line with Russia’s international commitments.
 
The resolution cites the case of Sergei Magnitsky as just one of several examples of abuse of power by the Russian law enforcement authorities.
 
MEPs also note that the steps taken to strip Gennady Gudkov, a member of the opposition Just Russia party, of his parliamentary mandate are widely seen as intimidation and call on Russia to "refrain from using laws arbitrarily for the purpose of clamping down on members of the opposition".
 
The resolution highlights the "growing pressure on the political freedoms of Russian citizens", mentioning that legislation on NGOs and on the right to freedom of assembly could be used to suppress civil society, stifle opposing political views and harass NGOs, democratic opposition and the media.
 
Parliament also fears that the law on extremism could lead to arbitrariness and restriction of the freedoms of association, expression and belief.
 
Pussy Riot is one of the eight candidates nominated on Thursday for the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. (EU Neighbourhood Info) 
 
Read more
 
Press release
 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre - EU concerned that justice in Russia is used for political ends, says Ashton (12-9-12)
 
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage - Russia
 
EU Delegation to Russia

NEWS
7th Annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting - reform progress on the agenda
Foreign Ministers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of...
EUMM condemns fatal shooting on Abkhaz-Georgia administrative border line
“EUMM can confirm the fatal shooting of a local man on 19 May at the...
Ukraine: EU project to advise on optimizing the effects of the Association Agreement
A new EU project, ‘Association4U’, to assist the Ukrainian...
FEATURES - Archive
Three Questions to the EU Ambassador in Armenia, Traian Hristea
Supporting areas facilitating economic growth in Armenia at the focus of EU...
Three Questions to the EU Ambassador in Azerbaijan, Malena Mård
Regional and rural development, justice reform and development of education and...
Interview with Krzysztof Bobiński - Eastern Partnership: Forum where voices of civil society sound loud and clear
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is facing a major challenge –...
PUBLICATIONS - Archive
Support for the Eastern Partnership - Stories, facts and figures from the European Neighbourhood Instrument 2014
The year 2014 was one of great challenges and major achievements for the...
Regional cooperation in the Eastern Neighbourhood
A brochure highlighting the key priorities of regional cooperation in the...
EU Cooperation for a Successful Partnership - facts and figures
What is the Eastern Partnership about, what are the key milestones and figures,...
LINKS