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RIA "Novosti", March 25, 2004

Russian Ombudsman Urges Extrajudicial Protection for Russian Residents

MOSCOW, March 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia needs "a serious and logical" state system of extrajudicial protection of Russian nationals, according to Vladimir Lukin, Russian envoy for human rights. Such a system must be based compliance with law and conscience, Lukin told a press conference held on the premises of the RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday devoted to Lukin's first month in his post.

Lukin, formerly a diplomat, co-leader of the liberal Yabloko party and deputy speaker of the previous State Duma (parliament's lower house), was proposed as Russian envoy for human rights by the Russian President.

Lukin also advocated the establishment of a "single human rights zone in Russia." He recalled that todate human rights ombudsmen worked in as few as 27 of the 89 Russian regions. Vladimir Lukin believes that it is necessary to complete the process.

He believes that the provinces should have their own ombudsmen or representative offices of the federal envoy for human rights.

Lukin advocated the former option and said his staff were drafting corresponding amendments to the law. Lukin pointed to the legal education of the population as an important aspect of his activity. "Citizens must know their rights and duties. However, they obtain very vague information about the subject," said Lukin.

Lukin said his staffers were working out a legal education program, which he wanted to make part of the school course in social science. This issue will be discussed with the education ministry.


See also:

Human Rights

RIA "Novosti", March 25, 2004

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