Non-Governmental Organisations

Recommendation adopted on 28 January 2009

Protection of Human Rights Defenders in the Russian Federation

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe,
Deeply concerned about the assassination of Stanislav Markelov, lawyer and human rights defender, and of Anastasia Baburova, journalist, on 19 January 2009 in Moscow;
Referring to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and to the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities (adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 February 2008);
Underlining the invaluable importance of personal engagement in the defence of human rights and the rule of law and the threats under which numerous human rights defenders are working in the Russian Federation;
Urges the Russian authorities to conduct an impartial and competent investigation into the assassination of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova and to bring all those responsible to justice and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders and to ensure favourable conditions for their activities;
States that the only means possible to address differences of opinion and situations of conflicts are those of dialogue in an environment where the fundamental freedoms are respected;
Requests its Bureau to follow the evolution of the situation and to cooperate with the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe in this respect.