MOSCOW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) — Members of the presidential council for human rights who will not be re-elected plan to set up a public organization for developing the civil society. The initiative was brought forward by Council member, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva.
"Not all of us will enter the new Council, but we've teamed up so well that we decided to continue work at a new organization – the public council for developing the civil society and human rights," Alexeyeva told a news conference on Wednesday as she was summing up the results of work of the incumbent Council." "It was a presidential council, and now it will become public," she said.
"Of course, "presidential" carriers weight, but even in this capacity were unable to reach all our objectives, although they know about us; they know our working groups and we'll continue to work," the rights activist said.
For his part, head of the Council Mikhail Fedotov, in comments on the media reports that some Council members were quitting remarked that they motivated it by saying "they worked much and for a long time there."
"Over three years since I've entered the Council, the country has changed much; the society has changed dramatically. It does more to fight corruption than it did three years ago and than the authorities do. My place is there. I'm more needed where there is civil initiative and where there is real life," Council member Yelena Panfilova said.
During four years of its operation, the incumbent Council has held 48 sessions, including seven sessions in which President Dmitry Medvedev participated. There were nine special and four visiting sessions. The head of state received 142 reports from the Council. It reviewed more than 2,000 statements from citizens, and over 1,200 civilians, experts, government representatives and self-rule officials took part in special sessions of the Council.
"The Council focuses on a large number of problems. We never planned to resolve them all at once, we had to get started," Council head Fedotov wrote in the booklet on four years of the Council's activity.
"We've succeeded in certain projects: new laws appeared and the public institutions never seen before have been established. We did not aim to embrace the boundless, but we could not let outrageous cases of injustice go unnoticed. That is why we handled high-profile criminal case, persecution of journalists and civil activists, and victimization of non-commercial organizations," Fedotov said.