Tuesday, 26 February 2013

French President will disappoint democracy and human rights activists in Moscow

French President Francois Hollande will on Thursday arrive in Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin. Activists today called on Hollande to seriously address human rights and democracy issues:

Rights activists called upon Hollande on Tuesday to address human rights and democracy during his talks with Putin.
“The last year has been the worst for human rights in Russia in recent memory, and Hollande should not miss this chance to persuade Putin to turn things around,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
The organization also said the French president should press Moscow to address the huge toll of the Syrian crisis on civilians, including by supporting a United Nations Security Council arms embargo.
In a letter published by La Liberation, four prominent French rights activists warned that Hollande should not forget his 2011 call when he urged Moscow to uphold the Russian public’s “desire for democracy.”

Unfortunately the human rights and democracy activists are in for a disappointment. Like all other western leaders who have visited Moscow during the last few years, Hollande will not confront the dictator of the mafia state in any serious way. Of course there will be a brief meeting with "civil society and opposition representatives" to allow the former socialist apparatchik a chance to tell the press that he indeed dealt with issues related to human rights and democracy. But that will be all. The meeting with Putin will be about French business opportunities ...

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