Gernot Erler, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, issued the following statement today (3 June) on the charges brought by the Russian judiciary against Valentina Cherevatenko, human rights activist and head of the non‑governmental organisation Women of the Don:
I am very concerned about the charges brought against the renowned civil society activist Valentina Cherevatenko, a winner of the 2016 Franco-German Prize for Human Rights. The Federal Government has signalled to the Russian side on repeated occasions that it would be disproportionate to prosecute Cherevatenko for the actions of which she stands accused. At the same time, a possible conviction would be a blow to civil society cooperation between our countries. I very much hope that it doesn’t come to that. Civil society cooperation should be promoted and not impeded.
The Federal Government will continue to keep a close eye on this case and stand up for Ms Cherevatenko.