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12.12.2001

Resolution of the all-Russia extraordinary congress on human rights protection

   

The operating Constitution declares Russia as a federative, law-abiding, social, secular and democratic state. However, nowadays the situation with democratic freedoms and human rights in the country became extraordinary. The Constitution is eroding, one can speak about a creeping Constitutional coup during the recent months. Restrictions on and violations of the human rights and freedoms in various branches form a distinct tendency to totalitarianism. The historical experience witnesses that such changes lead to mass repressions and provoke wide-scale military clashes.

The main threats to human rights and freedoms in the Russian Federation are:

anti-Constitutional military operations in Chechnya, that resulted in death of thousands of people, usual violations of human rights, military crimes and crimes against humanity;

practices of ethnic and race discrimination encouraged by the authorities, growth of xenophobia and violence with respect to ethnic minorities and migrants, implanting by the state the image of an enemy as inhabitants of the Caucasus and other regions;

intolerable state of people without propiska and living accommodation: both of refugees and homeless inside Russia; they are deprived of not only social rights (for living accommodation, medical aid, etc.), but also of their political and civil rights, sometimes the right for live itself;

wish of bureaucrats to regulate the personal initiative of citizens and to restrict the activities of public organizations, making citizens intimidated, weak and rightness;

mass violations of social and labor rights of citizens, the threat of the further suppression by legal means;

the growing advance of the authorities on the citizens’ right for healthy environment, pressure on public ecological organizations, demonstrative negligence of the will of millions of citizens, who supported holding ecological referendum;

wish of the presidential administration to usurp extraordinary rights and create a well-controlled constitutional assembly, for changing the Constitution structure of the state by ‘legal’ methods;

policy of submission of the legislative and judicial power to administrations of different levels;

demonstrative disdain to international obligations concerning human rights taken by Russia on the side of all branches of power;

growing tendency of replacing of the Constitution and Russian laws with secondary legal documents, abusing human rights;

tendency to monopolize informational, public, financial and economic spheres by the power;

pressure on independent mass media, attempts to introduce censorship and renaissance of the state ideological indoctrination;

numerous violations of election rights of citizens, manipulating with election laws on all levels, using mass media, election committees and courts by the authorities for removing undesirable candidates;

actual stop in the court reform, absence of the efficient court protection from human rights violations and arbitrary actions of the authorities, frequent disregard of court decisions;

non-efficient protection of citizens’ rights by law-enforcing bodies, moreover, turning law-enforcing bodies into a tool of abusing human rights;

excessive strengthening of special services in the society and state, closeness of state structures from the public, constraints on the access of citizens to the information;

turning the General Prosecutor’s office, USS and other law-enforcing bodies into tools of political struggle, inspiration of witch-hunting processes;

militarization of the power and society, dangerous interference of the law-enforcing bodies into the problems of internal and foreign policy of the country.

The all-Russia extraordinary congress on human rights protection considers such a state of things threatening the stability and safety of our society, to a peaceful and democratic development of our country.

We appeal to structures of the civil society in Russia to consolidate and act jointly with the aim of protecting rights and freedoms of man and citizen. The growth of threats to the Constitutional order and civil society, the superiority of the right and human rights demands from us to step forward as a constructive civil non-political opposition to this regime. The strengthening of the state must be balanced with the consolidated and efficient civil society.

The all-Russia extraordinary congress on human rights protection has decided:

To form permanently acting working groups in following directions: -- antimilitary campaigning; -- civil control; -- court reform; -- prison reform and protection of convicts’ rights; -- social and economic rights of citizens; -- army reform and protection of servicemen’s and their families’ rights; -- right of citizen to the entrepreneurial activities; -- protection of election rights of citizens; -- protection of citizen from ethnic and race discrimination; -- protection of ecological rights of citizens; -- protection of freedom of speech and independence of mass media; -- protection of the right for intellectual property; -- protection of children’s rights.

To form a special working group for legislative provision of human rights incarcerated Russia, preparation of the packet of federal laws directed at the provision of rights and freedoms of man and citizen in the Russian Federation. The coordination of the group’s activities must be carried out by the initiative group ‘Obshchee deystvie’.

To organize the monitoring of political and juridical provision of human rights, which would include the analysis of: -- voting in the State Duma of the Russian Federation on law drafts and other questions, connected with human rights; -- law drafts suggested by the fractions and other subjects of legislation initiative; -- reaction of political figures to the suggestions coming from human rights protection organizations.

According to the monitoring results the human rights protection community must decide, which political forces should be supported and which recommendations should be suggested to the civil society structures and voters.

The congress entrusts the initiative group ‘Obshchee deystvie’ the control over the fulfillment of this resolution and conducting the monitoring of the political and juridical provision of human rights.

Moscow, 21 January 2001



PL commentary. The extraordinary congress of human rights protection organizations has just been held in Russia. It is not surprising for those, who follow the course of events in Russia. President Putin elected a year ago obviously follows the course of introducing a non-democratic rule in the country. It is clearly seen in Chechnya, where the brutal violations of human rights are frequent, it is revealed in the attempts to restrict the freedom of speech, in strengthening the administrative control and pressure in all spheres of the social life. Many tendencies of the Russian life can be observed in our country. That is why we regard the resolution of the congress as actual for our country too.

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