Human right defenders support the appeal to the President of the International Paralympic Committee
Co-Chair of YABLOKO’s Human rights faction Sergei Kovalev, Federal Political Committee member Valeri Borshchev and parliamentary candidate Svetlana Gannushkina supported an appeal of Russia’s human rights defenders, calling President of the IPC Sir Philip Craven to make a compromise.
The human rights defenders claim that the ban of all Russian competitors from the Paralympic Games in Rio interferes with universal human values and introduces an inadmissible principle of collective responsibility for the innocent.
Here is the full text of the appeal.
Dear Sir Craven!
As heads of Russia’s non-government human rights organisations who not only criticize the violation of our citizens’ rights on the part of the state but regularly challenge such cases in the European Court of Human Rights, we have the moral right to say that at the moment the rights of our citizens – more than 200 Paralympic competitors – are being violated by an international organisation. This violation can still be averted. Compromises are possible.
The situation when entirely blameless people – sportsmen who were not accused of violation of any rules – became victims of sports bureaucracy is inadmissible.
This situation must be changed.
Sir Craven, you claim that there is a state machine that affects the Russian sport. We agree with you. But why do not you ban the teams of China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and other countries on the same grounds (the state impact). As a result, you trample universal human values.
Hisotry knows many sad examples when the innocent were punished for the malfeasance of states. At times those sacrifices were inevitable. However, it is important to make efforts to avoid such unjustified sacrifices.
There is no point in bringing innocent people to collective responsibility. We adhere to this principle for our whole lives. We constantly demand that Russian governmental bodies must adhere to this principle, so international organisations must adhere to it as well.
We are sure that a compromise should take place in this case.
August 26, 2016
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group
Valeri Borshchev, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group
Svetlana Gannushkina, Board member of the Memorial human rights centre, head of the Civil Assistance Committee
Elena Zhemkova, Executive Director of the Memorial human rights centre
Sergei Kovalev, head of the Public Committee on Andrei Sakharov’s Heritage Preservation
Oleg Orlov, member of the Memorial human rights centre
Lev Ponomarev, Executive Director of the For Human Rights centre
Arseny Roginsky, head of the Memorial human rights centre