Council of Europe welcomes Russian Duma ratification


To: MINELRES list submissions <minelres-l@riga.lv>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 22:41:49 -0800
From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Subject: Council of Europe welcomes Russian Duma ratification

From: MINELRES moderator  <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Felix Corley   <fcorley@mail.ndirect.co.uk>

Council of Europe welcomes Russian Duma ratification


STRASBOURG, 20.02.98 - The President of the 40-nation COUNCIL OF
EUROPE Parliamentary Assembly Leni FISCHER and Secretary General
Daniel TARSCHYS today welcomed the decision of the State Duma (lower
chamber of the Russian parliament) to ratify the European convention on
human rights and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture
and Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to send
them for approval by the Federation Council (the upper chamber).

"This is an important step of Russia's accession to the core Council
of Europe conventions", Leni FISCHER said. "Ratification of the human
rights convention will open the way for almost 150 million Russian
citizens to use the Council of Europe's human rights protection
machinery in Strasbourg, including the European Court of human rights.
I am confident that the Federation Council will act quickly to
complete the ratification process, thus allowing for a Russian judge
to the new human rights court to be elected at the Parliamentary
Assembly's April session."

"By ratifying the human rights convention, Council of Europe member
states commit themselves to guaranteeing human rights and fundamental
freedoms to everybody in their jurisdiction, while accession to the
anti-torture convention allows the Council of Europe's Committee of
Experts for the prevention of torture to monitor the situation in
places of detention," stressed Daniel TARSCHYS, adding: "I strongly
hope that ratification of other core Council of Europe instruments by
the Russian parliament will follow soon."

The State Duma acted on the recommendation of its International
Affairs Committee chaired by Vladimir LUKIN, former head of the
Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly and former Assembly
Vice President for Russia.

The human rights and anti-torture conventions were in a package of
Council of Europe instruments submitted for ratification to the Duma
by President Yeltsin in September 1997. The others, which are still
pending, include the Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities and the European Charter for Local
Self-Government.

Accession to the human rights convention, signed in Rome in 1950, is a
condition for membership in the Council of Europe. When Russia has
completed the ratification procedure, all of the Council's 40 member
states will be parties to the convention.

Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe is the oldest European
Organisation. Based in Strasbourg, France, it has 40 member countries
and covers every policy area except defence. It is separate from the
European Union.

Press Contact
Dmitri Marchenkov, Council of Europe Press Service
Tel. +33 3 88 41 38 44 - Fax. +33 3 88 41 27 89
E-mail: PressUnit@coe.fr

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