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Greens call on Council of Europe to address violations of human rights in Russian elections

The European Greens published the following press release on Tuesday, December 6:

According to the OSCE international observers, several violations of basic rights accompanied the elections in Russia, in particular irregularities in the election process.

We are seriously concerned by what was observed by the OSCE international observers”, said Monica Frassoni, European Green party spokesperson.  “Elections are a major element of democracy, in Russia and anywhere, and should benefit from the outmost transparency. We call on the Council of Europe to immediately address the violation of basic rights witnessed by international observers during the elections, and call on the Russian authorities to respect the right of protest of citizens”.

The international observers said that the elections had been well-organised, despite concerns over lack of equal opportunities to campaign for all parties, and restrictions placed upon media and NGOs.

However the process deteriorated during the vote counting, when the observers signaled there were serious indications of ballot box stuffing, that there had been manipulations of the electoral lists, bus–carousels where voters were shuttled between multiple polling stations to cast several ballots, and also several attacks to the web sites of the Golos Russian independent observers, as well as media sites such as ECO radio.

Since Monday, the centre of Moscow has been under heavy police control, including “special forces”, following the protest demonstration against the elections results on Monday – the largest in years in Russia – and the declaration of the OSCE.

6000 people took to the streets of Moscow in protest against what they call the “stolen vote”, together with the leaders of the extra-parliamentary opposition and the blogger Aleksej Nayalny, who was arrested together with some 300 people.

The rally was legal, but the police closed access to the venue when the number of protesters swelled beyond levels it thought acceptable.

The Greens are preparing a resolution on the Russian situation to be submitted at the forthcoming European Parliament session in Strasbourg next week.

Dave Schwab

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