ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP has expressed the collective concern of European Liberal Democrats to news of a fresh wave of reprisals against members of the Russian United Democratic party (Yabloko).
Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of ALDE member party Yabloko, has condemned the Federal Security Bureau in the Sverdlovsk region which has interpreted a recent Russian law ‘on the counteraction to the extremist activity’ to obtain a court order permitting Maxim Petlin, Chair of Yabloko’s Sverdlovsk Region branch to be placed under surveillance and for all his all telephone conversations to be monitored. A complaint filed to the Supreme Court was also dismissed.
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP said: “European Liberal Democrats are increasingly concerned at the instances of persecution facing members of open and fully legal political parties. During its years of existence the Yabloko party has not provided an occasion for it to be equated to extremist organisations. It seems the government regards the words ‘opposition’ and ‘extremism’ as synonyms.”
“European Liberal Democrats and Yabloko call on the European Union to put pressure on Russia and for the Russian government to immediately stop such reprisals and to bring those responsible to justice.”