International Expert Commission is established

International Expert Commission for evaluation of May 6th 2012 on Bolornaya Square in Moscow was established in response to the appeal from Russian and international civil societies. The Commission initiated by largest and most known international human rights NGOs:  Amnesty International, Article19, European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Civil Initiative for OSCE (ICI OSCE), International Platform «Civil Solidarity», International Protection Center, Human Rights Watch

Following the mass protests, that were dispersed by the riot-police, authorities of Russia made an official statement, that events on Bolotnaya square were mass riots.  Officially it is being presented as planned and organized for foreign money in advance violent action which was aimed to have a coup. At the moment 30 people are under accusation of organization and participation in mass rioting. Several activists, public observers  and NGO representatives had searches as possible witnesses of mass rioting, and number of those seeking for asylum abroad is growing.

The Commission itself will analyze and evaluate the events from the point of view of human rights observance, accordance of Russian legal norms to the international standards and with taking into account the existing law-enforcement practices in Russia.  It will also estimate, how adequate and measurable were the police responses, actions of organizers and protesters themselves.

The Commission is composed by the leading experts in field of freedom of assembly and police measures. 

The main aim of the Commission is to reply to the following questions regarding the mass action on May 6 and follow-up events:

  • Could the event be considered as peaceful as described in international standards of freedom of assembly;
  • Did the mass riot take place or just several hooligan actions;
  • Was the use of force proportional;
  • Is the legal persecution of participants and organizers justified;

The work of Experts is autonomous, the founders and supporters do not influence the work of the experts or the results they produce.

The technical support to the Commission is provided by the secretariat, which may be contacted here.