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Russian FM: ODIHR stance on events in Ukraine biased

April 19, 2014, 6:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has described as biased the stance over the events in Ukraine taken by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

The Foreign Ministry drew attention to the latest glaring human rights violations in Ukraine that have failed to be properly assessed by the ODIHR.

“It is outrageous there has been no official reaction from the ODIHR to Kiev’s discriminatory measure against Russian men aged 16 to 60, who have in fact been banned from entering the territory of Ukraine since April 17. The incomprehensible explanation of these actions taken by Ukraine as an OSCE member-state that was offered to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti by the OSCE press-secretary with reference to the office’s director Jan Lenarcic was just shocking,” the Foreign Ministry’s commentary says. “As a matter of fact the ODIHR has supported the provocative action against Russian citizens. This nearly total ban on visits by our citizens that the current authorities in Kiev have imposed cannot but cause indignation.”

“There have been many examples in history showing that such decisions are just one step away from persecution of other people on account of race,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

At the same time the ODIHR has preferred to keep quiet over outrageous escapades by extremists and nationalists against presidential candidates Oleg Tsarev and Mikhail Dobkin, the Foreign Ministry recalled.

“During the on-going presidential campaign Tsarev has been brutally beaten by militants. Moreover, instead of being granted first medical aid he was taken to the Prosecutor-General’s Office for questioning.”

“Tsarev is suspected of encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine” and if his “guilt” is proven, he may lose his status of a parliament member and presidential candidate,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“Mikhail Dobkin was marred with brilliant green dye and doused with flour. His bodyguards were beaten up. As a result Dobkin failed to attend television debates,” the Foreign Ministry recalled. “These outrageous incidents clearly demonstrate the real freedom of speech situation in Ukraine - the absence of the freedom of speech, as a matter of fact - and the threat of physical violence against those who dare voice opinions different from that of the Kiev regime and the Right Sector militants who support it,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “It is quite natural to ask what sort of guarantees of a free and honest election campaign can one talk of at a time when presidential candidates are denied a chance to explain their platform and now and then come under attacks by militants.”

“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attacks against Oleg Tsarev and Mikhail Dobkin. As the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said Ukraine needs ‘inclusiveness in the political dialogue, it needs space where people are able to express their opinion; regardless of people’s political views, social or other views, everyone should be able to speak up freely and participate in the process.”

At the same time “one cannot but feel indignant over the lack of a proper reaction from the OSCE ODIHR.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that in other similar situations involving election campaigns in the OSCE member-states “such instances would have been regarded by the ODIRH as violating the conditions of the electoral process and accompanied by calls on the authorities to punish those responsible for these crimes.

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