On 4 May 2011, the European Union and the Russian Federation held their thirteenth round of human rights consultations in Brussels. The consultations were held in an open and constructive atmosphere.
The EU and Russia focussed in particular on the rule of law and the working of civil society as well as cooperation in international fora and the fight against discrimination. The EU and Russia also discussed the rights of the child.
The EU raised a number of concerns related to specific human rights issues in the Russian Federation, including issues pertaining to racism and discrimination, LGBT rights, stateless persons, the freedom of association, expression and assembly as well as continuing impunity, especially regarding cases involving human rights defenders, journalists and in the Northern Caucasus. Both sides provided clarifications on individual cases of concern in the EU and Russia, notably on the probe into the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at the pre-trial detention centre of the Butyrskaya prison in 2009. There was an exchange on how EU and Russia could increase their practical cooperation in a number of areas, including the fight against discrimination, racism and xenophobia as well as on children’s rights.
In line with established practice and so as to incorporate the views of civil society into the consultations, the EU met representatives of Russian NGOs in Moscow on 13-14 April and international NGOs in Brussels on 6 April.
The next round of EU-Russia human rights consultations should take place in fall 2011.
Council of the European Union
More news and articles can be found on Facebook and Twitter.