Russia: Putin must embrace human rights before his political credit runs out

The inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the next President of the Russian Federation presents him with the opportunity to put human rights at the heart of his agenda for the next six years.

John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director, said:

“Vladimir Putin has the chance of a fresh start in his new term as president to ensure that the people of Russia gain the full enjoyment of their most basic rights including the protection of freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from discrimination, and the effective elimination of torture.

“The President elect must not squander this opportunity. He must lay out a roadmap for change and be able to demonstrate improvements along the way so that he can live up to the political and economic expectations of the people of Russia.

“Street protests that accompanied the presidential election in March and the ones that are planned around the President’s inauguration should be a reminder his political credit is not limitless.

“Will the new/old president find in himself the strength to address issues he neglected in the previous decade? Will he be able to face the changed landscape of the world and the changed attitudes and expectations in his own country in relation to human rights?”

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