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Liudmila Alekseeva intends to take up issue of 'foreign agent' law as member of Human Rights Council

posted 22 May 2015, 03:12 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 May 2015, 03:14 ]
19 May 2015

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group

Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Liudmila Alekseeva, has set as her priority task on returning to the Presidential Human Rights Council the issue of NGOs being designated as ‘foreign agent’ organizations, she told TASS.

"The first thing I would like to do is to discuss the wholly inadmissible practice of labelling various NGOs as ‘foreign agents’. Local bosses, in my opinion, are simply taking their revenge on those activists who have been critical of them,” Liudmila Alekseeva said. "I would like to take this issue up and convince the Council to do the same. It will have more chances of success to do this through the Council than if I simply take up the fight on my own,” Liudmila Alekseeva hopes. She says that she has not yet thought about other areas of work she might take up on the Council. She said that she is “very pleased” to be returning to the Human Rights Council.

The head of the Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, also stated that he is very pleased that President Putin had agreed to include Liudmila Alekseeva in the Council. “I hope that a presidential decree will be issued in the very near future,” he said.

Earlier, press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov told journalists that President Putin had approved the proposal by the Human Rights Council to include head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Liudmila Alekseeva, in the Council. He confirmed that Vladimir Putin had received an official proposal to this effect from the head of the Council.

It will be recalled that a letter proposing that Liudmila Alekseeva be included in the Human Rights Council was signed by Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Human Rights Council, Ella Pamfilova, federal human rights ombudsman, and Vladimir Lukin, retired federal human rights ombudsman.

Liudmila Alekseeva received a proposal to return to the Human Rights Council from Mikhail Fedotov in April this year. At that point Liudmila Alekseeva confirmed that she would like to resume her membership of the Council. “I have taken part in a number of sessions of the Council and see that despite everything the members of the Council are able to get some things done which they would not be able to do from the outside,” she said. “The possibilities to do things are so limited that we should not ignore the opportunities presented by the Council.

Liudmila Alekseeva was a member of the Presidential Human Rights Commission from 2002. In November 2004 after the Commission was reformed into the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, she became a member of that body. In 2012 Liudmila Alekseeva resigned from the Council. In one form or another she has therefore been a member of consultative bodies set up by the president for approximately 10 years.