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The process to form the Presidential Human Rights Council sparked up another scandal. On Monday, head of the Moscow Human Rights Bureau Alexander Brod went on a hunger strike. So, he is seeking to torpedo the recent decision of the workgroup for rotation in the Presidential Human Rights Council, which turned down his candidacy in a new line-up of this structure before the launch of the Internet voting. The Human Rights Council believes that Brod is seeking to discredit a structure independent from the state authorities by his actions.
On Monday, Alexander Brod went on a hunger strike in protest against the results of a meeting of the workgroup for the rotation in the Presidential Human Rights Council, the RBC daily reported. The workgroup was checking whether the questionnaires applied met the relevant requirements. From 190 questionnaires only 83 questionnaires passed for the next stage. According to him, his questionnaire was turned down over his insufficient experience in the issues of migration. The human rights activists, who were rejected by the council, will discuss the creation of a new human rights organization on Tuesday. “This will be a new structure, in which the rejected candidates will be able to work. But we will seek all the same to hold an urgent meeting of the council and cancel the results of the meeting of the workgroup and to hold transparent elections,” Brod explained.
Head of the Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov did not agree with Brod’s claims, the Kommersant daily reported. “The first filter in the way of formal requirements to the candidates was introduced as a result of our compromise with the presidential administration. After filing the applications for registration as candidates already the workgroup has made an unbiased selection of candidates and checked whether they match the requirements,” the Kommersant daily reported. Mikhail Fedotov does not rule out that Brod’s demarche may be profitable for “those, who do not want the council to be a powerful human rights organization.”
“I believe that this scandal does not have any relation to the council at all. Until I stay at this post, the council will be a serious advisory structure,” he stated.
Hunger striker Alexander Brod told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily that he finds the decision of the head of the presidential council as arbitrariness. Mikhail Fedotov noted that it was right that the candidacy of the head of the Moscow Human Rights Council was turned down twice. It is absolutely unclear for Fedotov, why all people are looking forward to be members of the presidential council, “I do not see the slightest reasons to react in a so acute and strange way to the process to form this agency. This looks like some anecdotes most of all.”
According to Director General of the Centre of Political Technologies Igor Bunin, who is quoted by the newspaper, the story turned out to be anecdotic, “Brod, who has far from best image among human rights activists, to put it mildly, stated all of sudden that his was offended. This is ridiculous.” However, there is a serious aspect in this issue, “This is an attempt of several human rights activists to stay in power. Meanwhile, for some of them it is very important – Lyudmila Alexeyeva, having an identity card of the member of the council, can go anywhere and help anyone. For others this is an attempt to get back in the nineties, when they were in power.”