Monday, 28 February 2011

Call the Russians to account on Human Rights.

In the Human rghts Committee this afternoon, I was able to challenge the Russian Ambassador to the EU over the murder of a British citizen, Alexander Litvinenko, in November 2006.

I suggested that the killing, allegedly by Andrei Lugovoi, now a Member of the Russian Parliament, was carried out under the articles of Russia's Federal Law No. 153-FZ (July 27, 2006). 153-FZ institutionalises the procedure for taking a decision on using armed-force formations and special units to combat terrorism outside of Russia. Under FZ-153, a critic of the Russian state or its leaders may be designated as an "extremist", and this law literally allows for the elimination of such critics outside Russian territory by FSB agents - Lugovoi was an FSB agent.

The fact that such a decision must be taken "by the President" clearly suggests that the murder was ordered by Vladimir Putin. 

The Ambassador, Vladimir Chizov, was disengenious in his answer to say the least. He suggested that there was no case to answer as no court had returned a verdict of murder. He conveniently overlooked that fact that this is because the alleged murderer is being sheltered by the Kremlin, and there has been no trial.

He then questioned Britain's Human Rights record on the basis that we gave shelter to such wicked people as refugees from the Bolshevik revolution! The Ambassador has some funny interpretations of history, it seems!

It is worth noting, that having tried for so long to get the Ambassador to attend a hearing of the Committee, only four MEPs bothered to show up, a fact that was not lost on the Russian delegation.