News / Europe

Council of Europe Concerned About Russia's Human-Rights Record

Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland addresses news conference, Kiev, Sept. 10, 2012 file photo.Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland addresses news conference, Kiev, Sept. 10, 2012 file photo.
x
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland addresses news conference, Kiev, Sept. 10, 2012 file photo.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland addresses news conference, Kiev, Sept. 10, 2012 file photo.
Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, has told President Vladimir Putin that the human rights body is concerned about Russia's law requiring non-governmental organizations to register as foreign agents.
 
Jagland said Europe will watch how the Kremlin implements the law that went in effect last November, a measure requiring non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding to register as "foreign agents" — a term synonymous with espionage during the Soviet era.
 
Golos, Russia's only independent vote-monitoring agency, was recently fined nearly $10,000 for failing to register as a foreign agent. Its director says that the organization has not received any foreign funding since the law went into effect.
 
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin for an unprecedented third term, throughout which has faced large-scale protests, he has consistently maintained the United States is funding the opposition. As a result, Russia's parliament quickly passed the new NGO law, and critics say the measure is meant to suppress dissent.
 
Despite widespread criticism from Europe and the West, Jagland says he believes the Kremlin will not budge when it comes to the new law.
 
"I do not believe that there will be changes in the law text in the foreseeable future," he said. "This is based on what I have heard, but one will now have the emphasis on how this law is being implemented."
 
Jagland also called on Kremlin officials to allow gays to march in demonstrations across Russia.
 
"Russian authorities have an obligation to also protect that LGBT people can express their views and entertain demonstrations in order to express their views," he said. "This is a fundamental principle in the European Convention on Human Rights."
 
Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but the government routinely bans gay pride parades and rallies. The office of Moscow's mayor has refused to grant permission for a gay pride demonstration scheduled to take place on May 25.
 
Lawmakers in St. Petersburg last year passed a new law against promoting homosexuality, saying it adversely affects children and families. Critics say it's just another way for the Kremlin to abuse human rights.
 
Russian officials defend the country's human-rights record.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
May 22, 2013 8:38 PM
Maybe it’s too little for Mr Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, to tell Mr Vladimir Putin about his concern for non-governmental organizations to register as foreign agents. It’s the same as in a famous Russian fable with Vaska, the cat, when the cook shames the cat that keeps eating stolen meat (basic human rights). Why Mr Thorbjorn Jagland “weeps” over (Russian) hair when the head (basic human rights) is already chopped off in the country? What does the controversial registration of NGOs in Russia mean more after there has been gross violation in the rigging and stealing elections and basic human rights are permanently suspended and abused all over the Russian Federation?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid