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Presidential Human Rights Council Could Be Renamed

Mikhail FedotovMOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Head of the Russian Presidential Council for Assisting the Development of Civil Institutions and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has said that the name of this presidential advisory body needs to be corrected.

"(The name) is not appropriate primarily because one word in it is definitely unnecessary. The word "assistance" is absolutely unnecessary," Fedotov said on the Ekho Moskvy radio on Saturday.

The version he suggested is the Council for Civil Society Development.

"We have the (Presidential) Culture Council, Modernization Council, many other various councils. But there is no Council for Culture Assistance," Fedotov said.

Once you remove one word from the Presidential Council's name, it will be difficult to stop, you will want to change something else, he said.

"As soon as we start throwing out at least one word from the Council regulations, inevitably we will say: "Yes, hold on a minute, this question mark here should be corrected," Fedotov said.

Civil society institutions can be developed from the top, he said. "I think they can. Because this should be a multilateral process. The role of the supreme power in Russia is huge," Fedotov said.

Very soon I will try and collect information from across Russia about problems public activists face when organizing public rallies, Fedotov said.

Such information will be collected "through the years, towns and villages," he said. "This is a very interesting statistic. This statistic can help us understand how to solve the problem," he said.

Fedotov has led the Presidential Council Assisting the Development of Civil Institutions and Human Rights since previous chief Ella Pamfilova resigned in summer 2010.

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