Human Rights Council declares Zubov's dismissal from MGIMO unlawful

posted 12 Apr 2014, 00:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Apr 2014, 00:45 ]
11 April 2014

Source: (info
The Commission on Labor Disputes and Social Partnership of the Presidential Human Rights Council has declared the dismissal of the historian Andrei Zubov from Moscow’s MGIMO University unlawful, reports, citing the website of the Human Rights Council.

As stated in the Commission's conclusions, the university's principal Anatoly Torkunov's order to terminate Zubov’s employment contract is inconsistent with the Constitution and the Labour Code, and violates Article 47 of the Law "On Education."

Zubov was fired from MGIMO on 24 March 2014. The actual reason for the termination of his contract was the publication of his article in the Vedomosti newspaper, where he compared the Russian aggression in Crimea with Austria's Anschluss by Nazi Germany. On 2 March, the day after the article was published, Zubov participated in the anti-war demonstration in the centre ofl Moscow. On 4 March Zubov told Grani that it was suggested to him that he should resign from MGIMO, the suggestion that he refused. He was subsequently fired by the university administration.

The official MGIMO website explained the historian's dismissal as follows: "A.B Zubov. has knowingly and repeatedly violated the MGIMO Charter, by-laws and regulations on the basic principles of corporate conduct, which are determined by MGIMO's departmental affiliation to the Russian Foreign Ministry. A.B. Zubov 's repeated statements and interviews on the developments in Ukraine and Russia's foreign policy ... contravene Russia's foreign policy, criticise government actions in a reckless and irresponsible way and harm educational and pedagogic processes."

The historian said that he would appeal the decision about his dismissal in court.

On 28 March the Russian Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova said that she was willing to take on Zubov's case. "This is clearly a politically motivated decision," - she said. Pamfilova added that according to the law she can intervene only at Zubov's own request and only if the court refuses to satisfy his complaint against the university administration.

Translated by Elena Cook