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PACE rapporteurs to arrive in Moscow on monitoring mission

July 16, 2012, 5:09 UTC+3

The PACE rapporteurs will also visit Nizhny Novgorod on July 17-19

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STRASBOURG, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — Rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for Russia, Andreas Gross and Gyorgy Frunda, will arrive in Moscow on a three day monitoring visit on Monday.

They plan to hold a concluding round of talks within the framework of the preparation of a report on Russia’s honoring obligations and commitments as a member of the Council of Europe.

The meetings will take place in the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor-General’s Office.

Gross told Itar-Tass earlier that the draft version of the report had already been submitted to Russia’s authorities for consideration.

The Council of Europe has been monitoring relations with Russia since it joined the Organization in 1996. The last time the relevant report was made public in Strasbourg seven years ago.

According to the existing information, the new report will incorporate conclusions of international observers who monitored Russia’s parliamentary and presidential elections, an expert analysis of Russia’s legislation and will focus on the death of Sergey Magnitsky, who was a lawyer and worked for the UK-based investment company Hermitage Capital Management. He was arrested on charges of alleged tax evasion, and died in Moscow’s prison in November 2009.

The rapporteur from Switzerland also plans at a meeting in the Ministry of Justice to discuss the case against once Russia’s richest man, Yukos ex-chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Moreover, the rapporteurs plan to analyse the implementation of a new law on rallies and possible effects of a law on non-governmental organizations as foreign agents.

Earlier, Andreas Gross and Gyorgy Frunda strongly criticized the law on rallies that multifold increases the fines for violating the public order. They say it undermines the freedom of speech and the freedom of association.

The PACE rapporteurs will also visit Nizhny Novgorod on July 17-19.

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