Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Günter Nooke, issued the following statement today (1 February) on the violent breaking up of the peaceful demonstrations in Moscow at the weekend:
“It was with concern that I followed the actions of Russian police officers towards peaceful demonstrators in Moscow at the weekend.
I appeal to those responsible to seek solutions in dialogue. Basic rights such as freedom of opinion, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press are the cornerstones of all states based on the rule of law. They are not just rights of each and every individual as anchored in international conventions but they are also guaranteed by Russia’s constitution. This is what the Russian leadership, first and foremost President Medvedev, must live up to.”
During demonstrations on Sunday in Moscow more than 100 opposition and human rights activists were detained for a time, including the former Deputy Head of Government Boris Nemcov and the human rights activists Oleg Orlov and Lev Ponomarev.