FreeMediaOnline.org and GovoritAmerika.us republished this European Parliament press release to underscore the point that the Obama Administration has not protested the Russian police action and has been mostly silent on many other human rights abuses in Russia.
Buzek: The EP appeals for the release of 2009 Sakharov Prize Winner Lyudmila Alexeyeva and other Russian human rights activists
Brussels – 01/01/2010
Following the detention of the human activists in Moscow on 31 December 2009, including Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the 82 year old 2009 Sakharov Prize winner for freedom of thought, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek said:
“I am profoundly and personally touched when I think that this very respectful 82 year old woman spent the night of New Year’s Eve under Russian arrest. I call on the Russian authorities to release her immediately.
I am deeply disappointed and shocked by the fact that Lyudmila Alexeyeva and other human rights activists were detained in Moscow last night. The police action was absolutely disproportionate. The detained protesters should be released immediately. In a democratic country, people should have right to organise protests, even against governments and authorities. Freedom of speech and expression is one of our basic human rights.”
“I was so proud, two weeks ago, to award on behalf of the European Parliament the Sakharov Prize 2009 to Memorial – to Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Oleg Orlov, Sergei Kovalev, on behalf of Memorial and all other human rights defenders in Russia. But I asked in my speech ‘whether Andrei Sakharov, one of the founders of Memorial, would feel pride, or more a sense of sadness that today’s Russia still needs such organisations?’
EP President Buzek added:
“When Lyudmila Alexeyeva on 16 December was in the European Parliament during the press conference following the awarding of the Sakharov Prize, the media asked her if she was not afraid return to Russia after having received the Prize from the European Parliament. The action of the police in Moscow gave a very disappointing answer – human rights defenders in Russia still can not demonstrate freely.
With the Sakharov Prize 2009, the Members of the European Parliament honoured those still among us who fight for human rights, but also honoured those who lost their lives in this very struggle.
Lyudmila Alexeyeva was protesting yesterday, because she wanted to defend the Russian constitution and the right to demonstrate. I still hope one day Russia will be a partner on whom the European Union can rely, respecting basic human rights. Today I repeat my appeal to the Russian authorities: Release those people immediately”
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For more information, contact:
Inga Rosinska, Spokeswoman of President Buzek