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Presidential Council: Lukin should act as mediator between government and society

Source: (info), 16/01/12

· Ombudsmen

Human Rights Ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, should act as mediator in talks between the government and the opposition, a statement by the members of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council says.

The signatories, who include Ludmila Alekseeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Svetlana Gannushkina, chair of the Committee for Civic Assistance, Aleksei Simonov, president of the Glasnost Defence Foundation, Igor Yurgens, chair of the management board of the Institute for Contemporary Development , and journalist Fyodor Lukyanov , believe that Vladimir Lukin has the necessary “status and personal qualities” for the role of intermediary.

“Our society today resembles an airplane that has got caught up in turbulence,” the statement, cited by, reads. “This is good reason to review our current direction. This review should involve a combined effort to search for solutions, through negotiations between the government and society. The declaration on the eve of the New Year holiday by Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, that he is ready to take on the role of coordinator for these talks, was very timely. Without a respected and legitimate coordinator such talks are doomed to fail.”

On 28 DecemberVladimir Lukin declared that he would be prepared to act as coordinator in discussions between the government and the opposition. “I believe that organising such a discussion is necessary and will be very beneficial”, said Lukin. Furthermore, he remarked that he saw himself as a coordinator of the preparations for the talks. He said that he did not think the word “mediator” was appropriate.

“In Russia, there exists a constitutional institution which is designed by federal constitutional law to resolve issues in the interests of protecting the freedom and rights of citizens. This institution is the Ombudsman for Human Rights”, declared Lukin. He continued: “It is of great importance, how and by whom this discussion is to be organised, as there is an issue of personal trust. In the event that both sides in one form or another express their confidence in the Ombuds institution, and specifically in the Ombudsman on this specific issue, then I am prepared to take part in organising and coordinating such a discussion.”
Rights in Russia,
23 Jan 2012, 05:33