Thorbjørn Jagland yesterday expressed his concern about allegations of ill-treatment of human rights activist Ildar Dadin in a telephone call to Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation. The Secretary General underlined the importance of the joint work carried out by the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation to reform the Russian penitentiary system and confirmed that this work should continue. He called for a thorough investigation of Mr Dadin’s complaint. Minister Konovalov promised that a full and transparent investigation will be conducted and that the Secretary General will be informed of its outcome.
Secretary General Jagland also raised the issue of the closure of the Amnesty International premises in Moscow. Although this situation is the responsibility of the Moscow city administration, the Secretary General asked Minister Konovalov to give it the necessary attention as the ability of non-governmental organisations to freely carry out their activities was of paramount importance in a democratic society and it was also the role of the Ministry of Justice to help civil society exercise its activities without restrictions, in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.