Latest Developments Around the Presidential Human Rights Council

Source: HRO.org (info), 22/06/12

· Human rights defenders

The Presidential Administration is proposing that the members of the Human Rights Council be chosen in the following way: candidates are put forward by concerned NGOs, then there is a vote organized on the Internet, and finally the three candidates who get the most votes are put to the President for him to choose.

The Kremlin does not exclude the possibility that this method proposed for the selection of the members of the Presidential Human Rights Council could be used for other public councils, Gazeta.Ru reports, citing Interfax, which received this information from a source in the Presidential Administration.

Earlier Mikhail Fedotov, chair of the Council, declared that it was planned to organize an Internet vote on candidate members of the Council.

According to Fedotov, voting on the website of the Human Rights Council will start on 1 July. Citizens will be able to choose 13 members of the Council to take the place of those who have recently left.

“Since this is a Council on the development of civil society, we must ask civil society what it thinks,” Mikhail Fedotov said.

“My task amounts to presenting these candidates to the President,” he added.

At the same time, Ludmila Alekseeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, announced that she sees no sense in working in the Council if its members are chosen without reference to views of current members, Gazeta.Ru writes.

“A Council made up in this way won’t be effective. If a list of that kind is going to be presented to the President, then he will be very strongly tempted to choose that young man, let’s say, from the Urals railway carriage factory,” Ludmila Alekseeva added.
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