Monday, December 26, 2011

Russia Slams German Ombudsman for “Misguided” Comments

The Russian Foreign Ministry lashed out at criticism of the country’s human rights record and the state of its democracy leveled by a German government official. German Human Rights Commissioner Markus Loening has lambasted the human rights situation in Russia and called for the introduction of sanctions against Russian politicians and security and law enforcement officials “responsible for human rights violations.” Loening said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been paying lip service to the rule of law throughout his presidency and called Prime Minister Vladimir Putin “the opposite of an irreproachable democrat.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Loening’s remarks were “inadmissible, overfree, and misguided.” “It is surprising that he has appropriated the right to speak on behalf of the German government and even of all Europeans, calling for direct pressure on Russia - in effect, for interference in our internal affairs,” Lukashevich said. "As Germany has officially informed us, nobody has authorized him for that," the Russian official went on to add. (document) (interview)

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