The situation of human rights, freedom of speech and democracy in Russia

As adopted by the Federal Committee in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012

JEF Europe,

Fully committed 
to the fundamental values of the Human Rights in general and in particular freedom of expression, speech and press,

Acknowledging that the right of sexuality must be free from discrimination,

Expressing its concerns about the current fragile situation between the Russian government and the civil society,

Alarmed by the current situation concerning human rights, freedom of speech and democracy in Russia and the new legislations regulating these issues,

Fully concerned about the recently adopted law in State Duma, which puts NGOs in the scrutiny of state authorities, as in case they receive external funding, they are recognized as “foreign agents”,

Defying the adopted law, which criminalizes the “defamation”, imposing heavy fines in cases of misinformation damaging a person’s reputation, which in its context clearly aims to silence the critics of the government and simultaneously violates the freedom of the Press,

Stressing the fact that civil society organizations and their representatives in the Russian Federation should not be arrested nor prosecuted on the basis of the non-violent expression of their political convictions or messages,

Considering the Russian Federation ?s self-portrayal as a democratic federation, their current justice system must be allowed to carry out their work independently and free of government interference, pressure, or the interests of the ruling party or the president,

Expressing the fear that the recent law “blacklisting” websites with content, which violates the Russian legislation, will be abused,

Rejecting the law banning the “gay propaganda” and the “promotion of homosexuality”,

Expressing its concern over restrictions on candidatures in the legislative elections which have affected many representatives of the opposition,

Expressing its discontent about the unjustifiable arrests of journalists and opposition leaders in Russia the last years,

Condemning the incommensurate sentences imposed on members of the music band “Pussy Riot”, because they opposed publicly to the ruling government in a cathedral in Moscow,

Fully advocating the enhanced role of the civil society in a democratic regime and the inclusive participation of citizens in public affairs,


Therefore,

Demands the immediate restoration of civil society rights in Russia by abolishing the laws mentioned above,

Asks the European Commission and the External Service Action of the EU to apply political pressure on the Russian ruling government in order to protect the rights of the Russian civil society,

Urges the EU institutions to continue funding Russian NGOs with national and international scope of activities,

Calls upon the Council of Europe to reinforce the fundamental rights declarations in Europe,

Calls the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the United Nations to take immediate action for the protection of democracy in Russia.