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Statement by the International Memorial Society in support of the Golos Association

Source: (info), 01/12/11

· Electoral rights  · Human rights defenders  · Moscow city & Moscow region

The nearer the day of elections to the State Duma comes, the greater the nervousness of the Russian authorities. Recently, the Golos Association, which since 2000 has been observing elections and monitoring violations, has been subject to unprecedented attacks.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta published an article about this much respected organization that in no way differs from the stories written by Soviet hacks about Andrei Sakharov or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Deputies from the United Russia, LDPR and A Just Russia parties have submitted a joint complaint to General Prosecutor Chaika, asking that his Office take action against what they allege are crude violations by the Golos Association of Russian electoral law.

The chief complaint made against Golos is as straightforward as those beloved by the Cheka: the organization gets money from foreign organizations, ergo its activities are subversive. In a somewhat crude form, Putin had made the same complaint about NGOs in his speech to the recent United Russia party congress.

We do not believe that it makes any sense today to demand that the authorities stop the campaign of slander against independent election observers, or that they issue a public apology to Golos. Hysteria of this kind does not stop just because someone or other asks for it to end.

All that we wish to do is to direct public attention to the fact that those in power today are not concerned at all about electoral malpractice, either during the poll or at the time of the count. What do concern them are the activities of those who might notice these malpractices, and bring them to public attention. The causes of such a one-sided concern would seem to be obvious.

We express our support and sincere respect for the Golos Association, and to all those who are making efforts to reduce the number of possible falsifications in the upcoming elections.

Board of the International Memorial Society

30 November 2011

This is a slightly amended version of ‘In Support of the Golos Association. Statement by the International Society Memorial’ published by Memorial and reprinted by kind permission
Rights in Russia,
1 Dec 2011, 06:30