European human rights court is ‘mad printer’ – Moscow — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union


The ECHR gives priority to anti-Russian complaints while “censoring” Moscow’s concerns, Russia’s deputy foreign minister says

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has been reduced to the role of a Western tool, rubber-stamping anti-Russian decisions while ignoring any cases it deems linked to Moscow’s interests, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Thursday.

In an extensive interview with Izvestia newspaper, Vershinin argued that the ECHR, a “once-promising” international organization post-WWII, created to uphold the rule of law and human rights, has now been discredited and degraded due to Western nations’ “total control.”

Russia joined the Council of Europe (CoE) in 1996 and ratified the human rights convention in 1998. In February 2022, 42 out of 47 CoE members voted to suspend Moscow’s membership, citing the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow condemned the “openly political” decision by which the nominally neutral body sided with the US and NATO and withdrew from the organization on March 15.

Amid these developments, the ECHR “has turned into a mad printer rubber-stamping politically charged complaints against Russia,” Vershinin said, adding that it seeks nothing but to “influence the Russian internal political situation with its decisions.” The court’s judges give priority to complaints submitted by those declared “foreign agents” in Russia or by the members of various extremist organizations, the diplomat added.

Adopted in 2012, Russia’s foreign agent law, similar to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, allows for identifying individuals and organizations involved in political activities and receiving foreign funding. Those designated under the law are also subject to additional audits.

Moscow severed all contact with the court after March 15 and only recognized its decisions that came into force before March 15, 2022, the diplomat explained. He added that the human rights body still “stubbornly and baselessly” continues to issue verdicts in cases related to the events that took place before September 16, 2022. According to Vershinin, the “Strasbourg bureaucrats” also seek to pressure the UN into forcing Russia to comply with its decisions. The deputy minister branded such attempts “unlawful.”

In June 2022, President Vladimir Putin signed a law nullifying all ECHR verdicts after March 15, formally repealing the convention accepting the ECHR jurisdiction in September 2022.

At the same time, the court “censors” any cases it considers to be linked to Moscow’s interests, like the violation of the Russian-speaking population’s rights in Latvia, which banned state education institutions from teaching classes in Russian – the nation’s most spoken minority tongue – in 2018. Vershinin said, denouncing it as “fantastic cynicism and double standards.”

In May, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated that billionaire George Soros partly controlled the ECHR. He was referring to a 2020 report that revealed that 22 out of 100 of the court’s judges who served between 2009 and 2019 had “strong ties” to the Hungarian-born US businessman.

“For many years, these judges literally ate out of his hand and, on direction from across the ocean, stamped biased court verdicts – which, by the way, have not been revised even after these corruption scandals,” Medvedev, who himself worked as a lawyer before entering politics, said at that time.

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