Person of the Week: Ella Pamfilova

posted 27 Mar 2016, 23:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Mar 2016, 23:22 ]
On 25 March 2016 the State Duma voted to accept the resignation of human rights ombudsperson Ella Pamfilova who has been appointed by President Putin to the Central Election Commission. According to RFE/RL, Pamfilova has been a respected rights activist for more than two decades and is a strong advocate of constructive dialogue between the state and civil-society groups. Duma deputy Vladimir Pligin, head of the parliament's Constitutional Law Committee, noted that Pamfilova "enhanced the clarity and humanity" of the ombuds' post during her two years in office. She was also praised by Communist Party deputy Ivan Melnikov. On 22 March 2016 Pamfilova had presented her annual report for 2015 as ombudsperson on human rights in Russia to President Putin.

Ella Aleksandrovna Pamfilova became federal Human Rights Ombudsperson on 18 March 2014, succeeding Vladimir Lukin. Born in 1953, Ella Pamfilova had been chair of the Presidential Council for Human Rights in that institution's various guises between 2002 - 2012. Her resignation under President Medvedev in 2012 was a blow to the latter's credentials as a reformer. At the time, Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch told the BBC that Pamfilova had 'really been the interlink between the human rights community in this country and the Kremlin, and without her Russian civil society is going to suffer, it's going to be a huge loss. [...] I'm rather inclined to believe that she's very worn out by the attacks against her by pro-Kremlin youth movements such as Nashi, some very aggressive, and also some of her adversaries in the president's office.' In her earlier career Ella Pamfilova worked as an engineer in Moscow. She became a People's Deputy of the USSR and was a member of Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1991 she became Minister for Social Care in the reformist government under President Boris Yeltsin, a post she occupied until 1994. In the years 1994-1999 she was elected three times as deputy of the State Duma. In 2000 she was a candidate in the Russian presidential elections.

Photo: Wikipedia

'Pamfilova Removed As Russian Rights Chief To Join Election Body,' RFE/RL, 25 March 2016
'Ella Pamfilova,' Wikipedia
'Russian rights activist Ella Pamfilova quits Kremlin,' BBC, 6 March 2012
'Элла Памфилова представила Президенту ежегодный доклад,', 22 March 2016
'Доклад Уполномоченного по правам человека в Российской Федерации за 2015 год,'