Posted on Jun 13, 2018
The European Parliament is set to call for the release of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia who is currently on hunger strike, and other political prisoners in Russia.
The move comes on the eve of the start of the World Cup in Russia.
MEPs will vote tomorrow on a resolution on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, which is expected to pass with a strong majority.
Comment came from Greens/EFA MEP Rebecca Harms, a German MEP.
She said, “As the World Cup kicks off, we must not forget those that continue to suffer at the hand of Putin.
“More than 150 people are currently languishing in prisoners for their political views. At the same time, Putin’s government continues to intimidate Memorial and other human rights organisations. This has to stop.
“The World Cup cannot be used as a shiny distraction from the Russian regime's devastating human rights record. Europe must condemn this abuse and remain united on sanctions against Russia.”
The Greens/EFA Group, in cooperation with the human rights organisation Memorial, is calling on FIFA to push for the release of more than 150 political prisoners in Russia and to link the selection of future host countries to their respect for human rights.
Meanwhile, Dutch PM Mark Rutte has condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin in a speech in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
He said Russia has continued its denial of the investigation into the downing of flight MH17 and "obstructed this process."
"This reminds us of the need to achieve justice for the victims of this tragedy, " said the PM.
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