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UK Prime Minister Meets Russian Human Rights Defenders

Source: (info), 13/09/11

· Human Rights Defenders · Yukos Case · Prisoners · Political Prisoners · Moscow City and Moscow Region

On 12 September British Prime Minister David Cameron met Russian human rights defenders.

As Caucasian Knot reported, the meeting with five human rights defenders and the editor of Novaya gazeta, Dmitry Muratov lasted about half-an-hour and was ‘private’ in nature.

According to, Novaya gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov gave the British premier a prison uniform, for the loss of which the court had denied parole to Platon Lebedev, former head of Menatep Bank.

Dmitry Muratov said after the meeting that the topics discussed included “human rights, the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. We talked about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, violations of human rights in the North Caucasus, the absence of competition in the political sphere, and about the need for a serious international organization in the area of combating corruption so that officials would no longer steal money in Russia and stack it away safely in London.”

The Novaya gazeta editor said that the British Prime Minister had told them about his meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev. According to Dmitry Muratov, David Cameron said: "I like the relationship and level of dialogue with Medvedev, but this absolutely does not mean that we are leaving to the side even one of those questions that concern us; and all these questions, of course, have already been raised at the meeting, and I shall continue to raise them in the future.”

According to Oleg Orlov, chair of the council of Memorial Human Rights Centre, the situation surrounding the case of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was also discussed with the British Prime Minister. RIA Novosti reported Oleg Orlov as saying: "We touched on the most wide-ranging aspects of the human rights situation in the country. We talked about torture in prisons, and in particular we brought up the case of Sergei Magnitsky. We briefly explained the situation and named those who must bear responsibility for his death.”

Oleg Orlov did not describe David Cameron’s reaction to this list of names the human rights defenders put forward. He noted that the British side had stressed the private nature of the meeting, but had nonetheless promised that a special statement based on the discussion would subsequently be issued.

The meeting was held at the Sakharov Public Centre. Earlier, the British Prime Minister, on the first such visit to Moscow for six years, had talks with President Dmitry Medvedev. David Cameron also met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Rights in Russia,
14 Sept 2011, 04:41