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Ella Pamfilova may be named new Russian human rights commissioner

January 22, 2014, 10:50 UTC+3

Pamfilova’s candidature sounds optimal for human rights activists

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MOSCOW, January 22. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Russian Presidential Council of Human Rights asked President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to nominate in State Duma lower house of parliament chair of Civil Dignity movement and former chair of the Presidential Council of Human Rights Ella Pamfilova as a candidate for the post of Russian commissioner of human rights, as Vladimir Lukin is leaving the post. Human rights activists name Pamfilova as an optimal candidate.

“No one doubts that this is she who will be approved at this post,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted. Pamfilova’s candidature is preliminarily approved in the Kremlin, the daily reported. Other candidates for the post of ombudsman, the names of which have been voiced recently, were looking unconvincingly from the very beginning, the daily noted.

“The president would not nominate merely pocket candidates,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily quoted Professor from the chair of constitutional law in the Higher School of Economics and member of the Presidential Council of Human Rights Ilya Shablinsky as saying. “He needs a person with good reputation in human rights movement, as the ombudsman has quite few powers,” he added.

“Practice shows that the powers of Russian ombudsman are really quite few,” the daily noted. “He can stand up in protection of justice on some occasions, but he cannot change “the party’s policy”. Lukin has repeatedly taken principled position, for instance, in the Bolotnaya affair. However, his voice has never outweighed considerations of “political expediency” of incumbent authorities,” the daily said.

Director General of the Centre of Political Information Alexei Mukhin does not doubt that Ella Pamfilova as a very authoritative personality in her circles (she is the main distributor of state grants among non-governmental organizations) suits incumbent authorities in all aspects, “This is the most optimal variant. Ill-wishers have some questions to other candidates, some of which state frankly that they do not want to leave their posts.”

Pamfilova’s candidature sounds optimal for human rights activists, Kommersant daily noted. “From those candidates that are being debated Ella Pamfilova’s candidature is the most suitable one. She is a personality, who is engaged in human rights activity for many years, she is aware what it is like in practice, not in theory,” member of the Presidential Council of Human Rights Yelena Topoleva-Soldunova told the daily. In her words, Pamfilova’s naming as ombudswoman would suit the human rights community. Meanwhile, she would not come out in “tough opposition to incumbent authorities” that is also important at this post.


Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews.

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