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#22 - JRL 2006-278 - JRL Home
Rights Activists, Opposition Should Join Forces To Protect Rights In Russia - Alekseyeva

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - Human rights activists and opposition parties should join efforts to protect human rights in Russia, said Lyudmila Alekseyeva, chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a prominent human rights organization.

"We have seen that we achieve nothing when we protest separately. Thus, we have to learn to act together," she said at a congress of human rights activists in Moscow dedicated to Human Rights Day.

Human rights activists and opposition parties, leftwing and rightwing, moderate and radical, are against violations of human rights, the chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group said.

"We will remain each as we are, both in structure and ideas. However, we should stand up for the restoration of our denied rights," Alekseyeva said.

"Human rights activists should be the ones to contribute to the staging of such a protest on behalf of both the human rights community and political parties, because competition is inherent to political parties," she said, adding that she was not proposing that all opposition parties merge into a single party or opposition bloc and that she was not trying to build a party.

"I do not advocate the merger of non-political civil organizations, including human rights organizations," she said.

However, all opposition parties, for example, are against the banning of demonstrations, rallies and pickets, she said.

"Parties and human rights activists protest, when the ban applies to their events. Protests will have an effect only if a ban on a communist rally will result in a joint protest of not only communists, but also human rights activists, the Union of Right Forces (SPS), the Yabloko party, the National Nolshvik Party and even the Rodina party," she said.