Mikhail Fedotov calls for human rights defenders' access to places of detention to be established as a right enshrined in law

posted 15 Dec 2016, 05:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Dec 2016, 05:27 ]
8 December 2016

Source: HRO.org

The head of the Human Rights Council on human rights defenders visiting prisons Mikhail Fedotov, the chair of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights [Human Rights Council], has asked that legislation be passed providing human rights defenders with the right to visit places of detention.

This was the suggestion that he made at a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, Interfax has reported. Mikhail Fedotov noted that the Human Rights Council’s proposals to give the Human Rights Council the official status of a body empowered to conduct oversight of public bodies had not been realized.

According to Fedotov, “thousands of members of public monitoring commissions, hundreds of public councils and public chambers” possess such a status, Fedotov was quoted as saying by Kasparov.ru .

“Here you have just been saying that you expect real information about the real situation of human rights from our trips to the regions. But how can we tell you about what is really happening there, if we are not allowed in, if we cannot go into the prison colonies, the prisons, the closed social institutions. And in many cases, it’s not out of ill will that they don’t let us in, but solely due to the lack of relevant legal norms,” said the chair of the Human Rights Council.

He asked the president to create the regulatory environment to enable this. Mikhail Fedotov also said that the Council has already drafted and submitted amendments to the federal law on public oversight of human rights’ observance in places of detention to the State Duma.

Translated by Kate Goodby