EU High Representative Catherine Ashton Calls Khodorkovsky Case ‘Emblematic’ And ‘Of Serious Concern To The EU’

October 24, 2013

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s politically-motivated imprisonment has been raised by the EU ‘at the highest level’ in Russia because it is an ’emblematic’ case ‘of serious concern to the EU’, according to the EU’s most senior diplomat Catherine Ashton.

Lady Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy and a vice-president of the European Commission, commented on Khodorkovsky’s decade of injustice in an answer to a written parliamentary question submitted by Marek Migalski MEP.

Dr Migalski’s question raised concerns about the arrest of peaceful protesters participating in a march to mark Khodorkovsky’s 50th birthday on 26 June this year – one of many events around the world to celebrate Khodorkovsky’s half-century.

Dr Migalski’s question can be seen here.

In her reply, Lady Ashton acknowledged the EU’s ‘strong concerns regarding recent developments in the area of human rights and the rule of law’, adding that ‘the EU continues to call on Russia to fully comply with its international commitments and to ensure full respect for the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.’

Turning to Khodorkovsky’s convictions and incarceration, she stated that the case ‘remains one of the emblematic cases that are of serious concern to the EU’. Noting that Khodorkovsky is due to be released next year (although erroneously stating his release would be in October rather than in August), Lady Ashton said ‘the EU will continue to follow his case closely.’

The answer to the written question can be seen in full here.