Amnesty International in Russia has presented the organization's latest
findings on the country's human rights record, and reports such
violations as stifled dissent, racist attacks, substandard justice, and
continued violence in the Caucasus.
Amnesty International says human rights are being
relegated around the world to a back seat in the name of recovery from
the current global economic crisis.
In Moscow, Amnesty's director for
Europe and Central Asia, Nicola Duckworth, told reporters that open
markets have not led to open societies, particularly in Russia and
"You cannot separate human rights out from the other
sorts of problems that exist, because human rights - the observance of
human rights - rests at the base of the solution for problems, whether
it is political, or whether it is economic," she said.
says migrant workers who come to Russia from neighboring countries are
among the first to feel the effects of the economic crisis, as Russian
authorities fail to uphold their human rights or to prevent xenophobic
or racist attacks.
Amnesty reports Russian authorities have
frequently violated the right of free assembly, banning, in particular,
demonstrations by the political opposition. The human rights
organization also notes threats and physical attacks against activists,
lawyers, journalists and opposition members.
The report says a
recent trial into the murder of investigative journalist Anna
Politkovskaya did not answer critical questions as to who was behind
the killing, and investigations into similar attacks remain
ineffective, which creates a climate of impunity.
International says accountability for crimes is needed for
normalization in the Northern Caucasus, where human rights are violated
even as authorities pursue the legitimate aim of fighting violence by
local armed groups.
An Amnesty researcher in Russia, Friederike Behr,
offers an example of collective justice against innocent people in the
Behr says the homes of families of suspected rebels
are set on fire, and according to the organization, fire fighters in
such cases frequently simply stand on the side.
Amnesty International in Russia has prepared recommendations for its
U.S. affiliate, which will lobby President Barack Obama to raise
human rights issues when he visits Moscow in July. Recommendations
include fair trials, freedom of speech, and protection for human rights
Nicole Duckworth notes Amnesty would also like to approach Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.
we had a better dialogue with President Medvedev, we would be more than
happy to give him material to lobby President Obama about the things
that still concern us in the U.S.A., for example, the death penalty,"
Amnesty International opposes capital punishment and
says the United States, China and Saudi Arabia account for the highest
number of executions worldwide. Russia has a moratorium on the death
The human rights organization notes positive
statements by President Medvedev about the need to respect the rule of
law, but says concrete actions are needed to prove he is doing more
than paying lip service to reforms.