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Security official Anton Tsvetkov becomes head of Public Oversight Commission

19 November 2013

Source: (info)
Anton Tsvetkov, the 35-year-old director of the organization Officers of Russia, has become head of the Public Oversight Commission (POC), Oleg Kozyrev reported on 18 November in his microblog.

According to Kozyrev, "The security officials have just seized control of the Moscow POC. It will become almost impossible for human rights activists to visit political prisoners or indeed any prisoners.”

"It’s a blatant breach of the rules. The problem is not whether we will challenge the decision, it’s the fact that the Commission won’t be able to function, it will be unworkable,” one of the founders and the first head of the POC, Valery Borshchev, told Interfax.

As reported by Kasparov.Ru, Anton Tsvetkov grew up in a family of KGB officers and his ‘human rights work’ has mainly consisted in defending police officers and members of the armed forces who have found themselves under investigation.

Tsvetkov managed to land the job of head of the POC after filling its ranks with people formerly linked to the law enforcement agencies.

Human rights defenders point out that Tsvetkov has only belonged to the Commission for a relatively short time and is one of its less active members, and that he has been seen with bodyguards on a number of occasions. Tsvetkov himself has explained that this was due to risks associated with his business interests. The head of Officers of Russia has been accused of bias several times in relation to prisoners and detainees involved in political cases.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds