MEP Omtzigt: We Hope Russia Will Exit Human Rights Monitoring

August 28, 2013

Speaking in an exclusive, taped interview with as part of the Decade of Injustice interview series, Member of Dutch Parliament and MEP Pieter Omtzigt says that he hopes that one day he may celebrate Russia’s return to human rights standards along with Mikhail Khodorkovsky in freedom.

Omtzigt, who serves as Second Vice-Chairperson on the Council of Europe Monitoring Committee, says that Russia has unfortunately been put through the monitoring process for failing to meet its own human rights standards.

“A number of cases arise in the Russia report which tend to be very lengthy,” Omtzigt says. “The Magnitsky case is very famous; the Khodorkovsky case gets mentioned in every report, and we see that people are critical of the Russian regime. Journalists and others get imprisoned, and sometimes are murdered. That is a serious concern for free speech and a serious concern for free political actions.”

“I hope that one day Russia will exit from the monitoring procedure, because at that point all the member states here are happy that Russia has the same standards as the rest of Europe,” he said. “It is something that we will be striving for, and that’s something that I hope that I will share together with Mr Khodorkovsky and that we can celebrate it sometime, in freedom, in Europe.”