Nominating Pussy Riot for Sakharov award is "interference in Russia's law system", foreign ministry says
25.09.12 20:07 By News Dept.
Russian Foreign Ministry commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said that Pussy Riot's nomination for the Sakharov Prize by a number of European deputies is an attempt to interfere with Russian justice.
"The above-mentioned initiative by European MPs can not simply be considered a rude attempt to interfere in the activities of an independent branch of the Russian government and the desire to question the decision of the court that issued a verdict according to the law," Dolgov was quoted from the Interior Ministry website.
"Believing that the decisions of any independent judiciary, including Russian courts, must be respected: We express the hope that respect will be shown to the memory of Mr. Sakharov, and the millions of Orthodox Christians whose rights and feelings were violated as a result of such acts, " the Dolgov said.
Knut Flekenshteyn, head of the European Parliament Delegation for Russian Relations and co-chairman of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee between EU-Russia, also spoke out against the nomination of Pussy Riot.
"This proposal is an insult to all former winners of the Sakharov Prize, such as Nelson Mandela, human rights movement "Mothers of Plaza de Mayo," and members of the Russian NGO "Memorial," who all fought for freedom of thought and defended the rights of their fellow countrymen" Flekenshteyn said, as quoted by Interfax.
The MP who nominated Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mary Alekhine and Catherine Samutsevich for the Sakharov Prize on September 14 was from Germany, Verner Schultz, who represents the 'Green' party in the German parliament and is deputy head of the European Parliament delegation for Parliamentary Cooperation Committee between EU - Russia.
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