'Many will look back to this moment and ask, what did Europe do when Russian human rights defenders called on you in this time of need?' - Ludmila Alekseeva

posted 18 Dec 2012, 02:14 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Dec 2012, 02:18 ]
"When European Union leaders meet with Putin in Brussels on Friday they must take a very tough stand on human rights and demand an end to this crackdown. The E.U. must make human rights not a side issue, but the main issue. And it must not mince words. There is nothing more important the E.U. could possibly need to talk about with the Russian leadership than the future of the rule of law in its neighbor and strategic partner. The new laws and rhetoric are primitive and they must be reversed.

"It will not be a pleasant conversation. But however difficult it is to confront Putin on human rights today, try to imagine what it will be like to discuss these issues a few years from now, when either the crackdown has become even more intense or the path of repression results in a real social explosion. Many will look back to this moment and ask, what did Europe do when Russian human rights defenders called on you in this time of need?"

from Lyudmila Alexeyeva [Ludmila Alekseeva], 'Backtracking in Russia,' New York Times, 16 December 2012
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