American House of Representatives condemns Russian rights violations


Credo.Press, 7 December 2020


The House of Representatives of the American Congress adopted on 4 December a resolution with the demand to release Russian political prisoners, including the Karelian researcher of stalinist repressions, Yury Dmitriev; the former Yukos employee Aleksei Pichugin; and Danish citizen Jehovah's Witness Dennis Christensen.


According to the text of the resolution, published on the congressional website, the House of Representatives condemns the practice of imprisonment for political reasons, and it demands that Russian authorities release persons who are recognized as political prisoners by the Memorial human rights center, whose list includes journalists, activists of civil society, rights advocates, members of public organizations, and also Ukrainian citizens from the "illegally annexed Crimea."


In all, Memorial's list of political prisoners has more than 300 persons, the majority of whom were convicted for religious reasons because of membership in religious organizations that are considered in Russia to be extremist.


The Resolution Number 958 of the U.S.A. Congress includes several specific names: the former Yukos employee Aleksei Pichugin; activists Konstantin Kotov and Anastasia Chevchenko; the journalist and head of the Kaliningrad newspaper Novye Kolesa, Igor Rudnikov (who is already at liberty); the historian and head of the Karelian department of the Memorial human rights center, Yuru Dmitriev; and the Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, who was convicted because of the activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, which is banned in Russia.


The resolution contains a call to all representatives of the U.S.A. in negotiations with Russia to raise the topic of political prisoners. It also contains a call to apply the Magnitsky Act or other laws sanctioning persons who are responsible for illegal imprisonment of people in Russia. In the opinion of lawmakers, the government of the U.S.A. must determine the appropriate "Russian officials," reports.


The Russian Supreme Court ruled all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to be extremist and liquidated them. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 December 2020)
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