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Roginskiy Calls EU to Toughen Criticism on Russia

Submitted by on Monday, 23 November 2009.    1,228 views No Comment
Roginskiy Calls EU to Toughen Criticism on Russia

Kavkaz-Uzel reported, On Thursday, November 20, the Reception Centre of Foreign Press in Paris hosted a press conference of Arseniy Roginskiy, a well-known Russian historian, human rights activist and chair of the board of the Society “Memorial”.

Mr Roginskiy answered a broad spectrum of questions asked by French journalists: about the work of human rights defenders and NGOs in Russia, about the confrontation with the authorities, about disputable history items and about many other things.

In spite of the fact that the press conference had been announced only two days in advance, some three dozens of French journalists and activists of human rights organizations gathered in the hall; the event lasted for about two hours.

Arseniy Roginskiy has noted that Sakharov Prize (this October the European Parliament awarded the Memoria with the “For Freedom of Thought” Prize)  first of all belongs to Natalya Estemirova, an employee of the Chechen office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial”, who was shot dead in Chechnya this July. “This award – the award for Natasha – increases our responsibility for the work that we do,” said Mr Roginskiy.

Arseniy RoginskiyThe French journalists were also interested to what extent the criticism by the West of the aggrieved situation with human rights in Russia can influence the Russian authorities. Mr Roginskiy answered that “whatever the EU says is always insufficient.”

He has also mentioned his feeling that the statements of the West are more likely ritual, intended somehow to whiten the critics in their own eyes and eyes of their nations, demonstrating that the western powers are allegedly worried with observance of human right in the East. He believes that western leaders not only have the right, but a must to speak more directly and tougher with the Russian authorities. “Certainly, not in the offensive tonality, not from top down, but permanently and on the regular basis,” the human rights activist has added.

A part of Arseniy Roginskiy’s speech is available (in Russian language) at Youtube.

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