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The Russian Presidential Human Rights Council is on the verge of collapse

June 26, 2012, 11:34 UTC+3

Right after Vladimir Putin’s inauguration 13 members left the council, on Monday another three members left their posts in the council

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MOSCOW, June 26 (Itar-Tass) — The human rights activists continue to quit the Presidential Human Rights Council. Right after Vladimir Putin’s inauguration 13 members left the council. On Monday another three members left their posts in the council. The council turned out on the verge of collapse over the lack of quorum.

Vice-President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Igor Yurgens and human rights activists Valentin Gefter and Boris Pustyntsev quitted the Presidential Human Rights Council over the discontent with new rules to form the council, the Kommersant daily reported. The council stated that a new procedure may be adjusted. Sources of the newspaper in the presidential administration noted that the Kremlin position remains unchanged.

The Kommersant daily recalled that under the new procedure to form the Presidential Human Rights Council that the Kremlin suggested any public non-profit organization can nominate a candidate in the council (by three candidates for a seat in the council), after that the voting will be held at the website of the council, and its leaders will be put up for consideration of the president. Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva stated about her decision to quit the council for this reason, but she stated on Monday that she is ready to return in the council, if she witnesses that “new people, who are coming in the council, will be labour efficient members.”

This week members of the Presidential Human Rights Council will seek to work out a compromising variant for the selection of new members, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. On Monday, over discontent with this procedure another two human rights activists left the council and it turned out on the verge of breakup. The newspaper found that the presidential administration at a behind-closed-doors meeting on Monday pledged to the human rights activists that “there will be no attacks on the council.” But the Kremlin did not give up its plans. Several members of the council told the newspaper that they will quit the council, if it loses independence.

The Moskovsky Komsomolets daily published the comments of the experts. Political expert Pavel Danilin is convinced that the negative response of the human rights activists to the Kremlin initiative concludes in their special idea about themselves, “Members of the Presidential Human Rights Council believe that this is them, who have the patent right for human rights activities and the right to decide who is a human rights activist.” “This is a major confusion and it should be stated that members of the council have co-opted before only on the recommendations, which the human rights activists gave themselves. So, members of the council recommended other members. It is clear that it was a get-together, in which all know each other,” he noted.

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