Mikhail Fedotov Will Leave Presidential Council if Putin Needs It Only As ‘Decoration’

Source: HRO.org (info), 03/05/12

· Human rights defenders

Mikhail Fedotov, chair of the Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civil Society, has confirmed that some of the Council’s members intend to leave the body. According to Fedotov those who have expressed their intention to leave the Council are Svetlana Gannushkina, head of Civic Assistance, an organization providing help to refugees, and Ida Kuklina, a member of the coordinating council of the Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia.

Fedotov said that he had only heard that political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin wishes to leave the Presidential Council from the media.

Mikhail Fedotov said the current make-up of the Council on Human Rights was effective, and pointed out that president-elect Vladimir Putin might keep the same membership. However, Fedotov said, if Putin needs a Council ‘as a form of decoration’, then he himself would also leave it, Radio Liberty reports.

If that were to happen, a non-governmental organization could be set up on the basis of the current membership of the Council. This idea has been supported by Ludmila Alekseeva, a member of the Council and chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

On Saturday 28 April the last meeting of the Council under the leadership of departing president Dmitry Medvedev was held.