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    EU Addresses Russia's Human Rights Record

    NTDTelevision

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    Human rights violations in Russia take center stage at the European Parliament. The Subcommittee on Human Rights met in Brussels to discuss how to persuade Russia to improve in the area of human rights.

    Human rights violations in Russia are taking centre stage in Brussels.

    European Union officials and human rights activists set their sights squarely on Russia in the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament on Tuesday.

    Discrimination, freedom of association and rule of law issues made up the agenda for the hearing.

    [Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament]:
    “We had very poignant statements by different representatives of Russian civil society on the different cases illustrating how much the rule of law is non-existent in Russia today, unfortunately.”

    The Moscow-based SOVA Center for Information and Analysis investigates the misuse of an anti-extremism law in Russia to suppress religious minorities.

    [Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of SOVA Center for Information and Analysis]:
    "Here we have serious problems not only with practical law enforcement on the low level when we may say it’s just abuse of certain officers, but even court decisions looks sometimes very strange."

    One of the cases that SOVA center presented to the European Parliament was the recent court decision of the Krasnodar district court in Russia to ban the book called “Zhuan Falun”, detailing the teachings of the peaceful Chinese meditation practice of Falun Dafa.

    According to the representative of the Russian Falun Dafa Association, the Russian authorities are cracking down on freedom of belief under the pressure from Chinese regime, which has been persecuting Falun Gong for the past 13 years.

    Over 3,400 cases of death from torture and mistreatment of Falun Gong adherents have been documented in China...