28 May 2022
by Karinna Moskalenko
The International Protection Centre has received notification from the European Court of Human Rights that the long-awaited decision on our ‘long-suffering’ case on the ‘foreign agent’ law will be delivered on 14 June. Dozens of Russian applicant organisations and thousands of people in Russia have been waiting nine long years to ge, at the very least, a legal assessment of this foul law that violates the very foundations of a democratic state. What will the decision be?
In a two weeks, my colleagues and I from many organisations will be reading and analysing this decision, but it will all be purely theoretical. The Russian authorities do not intend to execute judgments of the European Court of Human Rights delivered after 16 March 2022. Is that lawful? No, it is not lawful. But there’s no way they can be made to execute it – as Pinocchio used to say: “…even if he fights!”
Who has been so diligent as to ensure that the Court didn’t get round to dealing with such an important case for so many years? What kind of manipulation has there been? And by whom, personally?
We Russians are often blamed for inaction, for not actively defending democratic values.
But with sadness and pain I think of my fellow human rights defenders, about how with our bare hands we literally threw ourselves against the defensive walls built by the authorities, risking not only our reputations and freedom but also our lives, fought for those very values. But somewhere, in the comfort of Strasbourg, someone was holding up the case… Someone was continually putting it back in the cupboard… While we fought, waited, hoped… and fought again, unarmed, in hand to hand combat …
I’d like to know the names of all those people who should be thanked for playing these games…
Well, we’ll continue our fight for all that we have been fighting for and these lessons will serve us well when Russia – cleansed of all that cannot be tolerated in the democratic world – once again begins to change its system to join the Council of Europe at a new historical stage.
And Europe should learn its lessons from this too.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove