7. Dez. 2011


Freedom of expression and assembly in Russia must be quaranteed

The Parliamentary Assembly’s Rapporteurs for Russia of the Committee on the Honouring of obliations and commitments by Member States of Council of Europe, Andi Gross (Switzerland, Socialdemocratic Party) and Gyorgy Frunda (Romania, EPP/CD) expressed today their concern at the events which followed the announcement of the results of the parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation.

«The right to peacefuly demonstrate the discontent is one of the basic rights of people in any democratic state and is a part of freedom of expression and assembly – they stressed – there is no justification for arrests and detention of hundreds of people just because they gather to protest calmfuly. To the contrary, they have the same right to police protection as those who express their support for the winning party».

Since the announcement of the preliminary results of the elections on Sunday evening, over 500 peaceful demonstrators and bystanders have reportedly been arrested by police in cities across Russia amid protests against alleged manipulation of votes. Among those arrested are some leading opposition figures and NGO activists.

The rapporteurs called on the Russian authorities to ensure that all those detained are immediately released and that no further arrests take place.

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