Council of Europe (CoE)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks’ position concerning the application ECODEFENCE and others v. Russia
Russia has been perplexed by a recently published comment, in which the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, announces his decision to intervene as a third party in the European Court of Human Rights proceedings concerning ECODEFENCE and others v. Russia and inveighs against Russian legislation regulating the activities of non-commercial organisations.
Specifically, Mr Muiznieks describes Russian legislation as “running counter to human rights” and “incompatible with international and European human rights standards.” He also estimates it as an “interference with the free exercise of the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression” that allegedly leads to a situation where the organisations in question and their staff are subjected to “ostracism, harassment and even physical attacks.”
We consider such assertions and the tone of comments chosen by the Commissioner as an unfriendly gesture in relation to our country, the legislation of which fully conforms to the norms of international law. The mention of “harassment and physical attacks” is completely ungrounded.
We call on Nils Muiznieks to use verified information in his public comments and avoid false accusations and politicisation of purely legal matters s related to the activities of the ECHR.