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05.11.2010

Add Your Signature to Amnesty International Germany’s Declaration on Russian Injustice

   

Amnesty International Germany used the occasion of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s closing statement to present a "Berlin Declaration", signed by several prominent Germans to demand the end of "injustice" in Russia.

Read more about the launch of the Berlin Declaration of an event at the Berlin Wall Museum

According to Amnesty International, literature Nobel prize winner Herta Müller, actress Katja Riemann, MPs Marieluise Beck from the Green Party and Markus Meckel from the Social Democrats have signed the document, which is to be delivered to the Russian Embassy after November 15.

To add your name to the letter below, please email your full name, country of residence and profession to  with "Berlin Declaration" in the subject line. 

Ensure the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Russian Federation!

"Berlin Declaration" on the occasion of the exhibition "The Khodorkovsky trial - images of injustice" in the Mauermuseum - Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

Almost 60 years ago - on 4 November 1950 - the European Convention on Human Rights was signed in Rome. The signatory countries acknowledged that the protection and development of human rights and fundamental freedoms are the foundation for justice and peace in the world.

When Europe was no longer divided, the Russian Federation also joined the Council of
Europe in 1996 and ratified the European Convention on Human Rights in 1998. This sparked hopes that time would come for the people in the Russian Federation where the power of law could be used effectively against the law of the powerful, where the strongest rule and the weak lose out.

In our view, on the 60th anniversary of signing the European Convention on Human Rights, these hopes have not been fulfilled. The freedom of assembly is still not guaranteed. The work of independent non-governmental organisations is obstructed and the judicial system is not at all independent. In virtually all cases, it is still common practice that once charges are brought against somebody, they lead to a conviction.

We fear that this won’t be any different in the second trial against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev that is currently drawing to a close. Many independent observers which followed the trial since its start in March of 2009 commented that there had been no objective examination of the criminal charges against the defendants. On the contrary, the trial has become symbolic of the fact that in the Russian Federation, power generally still triumphs over the law.

Even the charges of the prosecution seem obviously fabricated considering the defendants’ first Conviction and Yukos tax evasion cases. Time and again, obstruction of the defence were reported, going against the right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Assertions from Russian leadership circles stating that the courts were dealing with the case in an independent and impartial manner are irreconcilable with their continued efforts to demonize and stigmatize Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a Russian Al Capone in the media.

Against this background, we expressly support President Medvedev’s fight against legal nihilism and state corruption in his country that he announced when he took up office and appeal to him as follows:

As a Guarantor of the Russian Constitution and as a leader of a great country, please ensure the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Russia!

Please provide for an independent judicial system and for legal proceedings guaranteeing the right of the defendant(s) to a fair trial!

Please provide for an independent review of previous and current criminal charges in the context of the criminal proceedings brought against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev since 2003!

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