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MOSCOW, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with activists from Russia’s leading human right organizations on Thursday, the Kremlin press service reported.
“The meeting was appointed at a request of Russian human rights activists over the process of nominating a candidate for the post of Russia’s human rights ombudsman,” the press service said. “It is planned to discuss issues of the development of the institute of the Russian human rights ombudsman and the efficiency of the system of such ombudsmen in Russian regions.”
On Wednesday, the presidential council posted on its official website an appeal to the Russian president asking him to nominate Ella Pamfilova as Russia’s next human rights ombudsman. The document was signed by 40 members of the council, including its chairman, Mikhail Fedotov.
“Sincerity, dedication to the cause, persistence in advocating human rights and freedoms as the highest value of a state, an irreproachable reputation and unquestionable respect among human rights activists, the talent of a negotiator and mediator in settling complicated problems in relations between civil society and the authorities are an ombudsman's most important qualities," the document said. "We are convinced that Ella Pamfilova has all these qualities.” Under the Russian law on Human Rights Ombudsman, a candidate for the post may be nominated by the Russian president, the Federation Council upper house of parliament, members of and groups in the State Duma lower house. The human rights ombudsman is appointed and dismissed by the State Duma for no more than two consecutive terms.
The current human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, was appointed in January 2004 and reappointed in February 2009. His term in office expires on February 18, 2014.
On January 16, the Duma launched a nomination campaign. The list of nominees to the post will be announced on February 18. A new ombudsman is to be elected by the State Duma before March 18, i.e. within a month after the end of the nomination campaign.
Ella Pamfilova, who currently chairs the presidium of the all-Russia public movement Civil Dignity and heads the national union of public associations Civil Society to Russian Children, has been engaged in human rights activities for more than a decade. In 2002-2010, she headed the presidential commission on human right, which was reorganized as the presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights in 2004. Until 2012, she was a member of that council.
Before that, Pamfilova occupied various government posts and was in charge of social policy issues. In 1991-1994, she was Russian Minister of Social Protection.