STRASBOURG, October 11. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has decided to cancel his working visit to Russia. He took this decision because he did not agree with a number of “restrictions” to the program of the visit which was scheduled for the third week of October.
In a statement Muiznieks said ” It is with deep regret that I have to announce that this visit will not take place because of the unacceptable restrictions that the Russian authorities wanted to impose on my programme.” He added that the visit was restricted “to approximately 48 hours… with only one full working day” and that it “would have not allowed sufficient time to carry out a substantive country visit.” He also said that “according to the institutional provisions of my mandate, member states shall facilitate the independent and effective performance of my functions, including facilitating my contacts and providing information as requested in good time ……. these requirements are not fulfilled by the authorities of the Russian Federation.”
Muiznieks stated that he would continue to monitor the human rights situation in Russia.