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أحلامنا المشتركة -> Greens Press -> EU to monitor Russian state racism...
عدد مرات القراءة 18022006-04-24

EU TO MONITOR RUSSIAN STATE RACISM

GREEN MEP WARNS MOSCOW’S HINDUS FACE PERSECUTION

THE EU is to monitor racism and persecution of religious minorities in
Russia after Green Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas demanded action following
two cases of official discrimination against Hindus in Moscow.

Last October, Hindus in Moscow were left with no place to worship after the
city’s mayor rescinded an offer of land for the construction of a new
temple. And in December the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church described
the Hindu god Krishna as “an evil demon, the personified power of hell,
opposing God” – but received no official rebuke or condemnation.

Dr Lucas, South-East England’s MEP, told the EU’s Commissioner for External
Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, there was an urgent need to exert pressure
on the Russian government to improve its human rights standards in regard to
religious minorities.

She said: “The Russian state’s respect for democracy and human rights do not
meet the minimum standards required by international law – and the EU should
be seizing every opportunity to exert pressure on Moscow to bring it up to
standard.

“These two incidents highlight the way in which discrimination of religious
minorities is becoming acceptable to the Russian establishment.

“As an important EU trading partner, the Russian government engages in
regular dialogue with the European Commission, and I hope the Commission
will demand improvements to religious freedom in Russia at the next such
meeting.”

Ms Ferrero-Waldner told Dr Lucas the Commission took good note of her
concerns and had asked its Moscow Delegation to monitor developments
closely.

She said the Commission had also asked Russia to discuss improving the
treatment of religious minorities with the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism
and Xenophobia.

Dr Lucas added: “I am glad the Commission appears to be taking the issue of
persecution of religious minorities in Russia seriously, and I hope Ms
Waldner’s efforts to improve Russian human rights standards are successful.

“There comes a time though when we may need to apply the stick – threatening
denial of access to EU markets – as well as the carrot of improved dialogue
and closer partnership.”






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