EUROPEAN GREENS CONDEMN DETENTION OF PEACEFUL PROTESTORS IN RUSSIA[:]
The European Green Party and the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament condemn the detention of peaceful protesters demonstrating for the right to freedom of Assembly in Russian cities on 31st May.
EGP Co-Spokespersons, Monica Frassoni and Philippe Lamberts, say:
” Despite comments by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin just 4 days ago that he was in favour of peaceful protests, yesterday’s events show that nothing has changed in Russia and that the authorities do not, in practice, respect people’s right to protest . The fact that over 100 people were detained in Moscow, and over 60 in Saint Petersburg, and reports of protesters being mistreated by police, show that Russia still fails to respect the human and civil rights of its citizens and therefore is not living up to the responsibilities of any state which claims to be truly democratic. We European Greens will continue to support those activists in Russia who hold demonstrations on the 31st of each month with 31 days in defence of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right to protest peacefully.”
Heidi Hautala, Green MEP and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament, attended the protest in Saint Petersburg. Heidi Hautala says:
“Yesterday, the EU and Russia met at the highest political level in Rostov-on-Don. Again we have observed how the Russian authorities use their pre-emptive techniques to prevent people from expressing their views, harassing members of the democratic opposition and using administrative sanctions against them. I especially strongly condemn the violent oppression of peaceful demonstrations in Moscow. It is clear that police used excessive force against the demonstrators. The European leaders have to take these violations against democracy seriously and act.”