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New Russian human rights adviser aims to 'de-Stalinize' social consciousness

Russian PrisonMoscow, 12 October: The immediate tasks of the human rights council under the Russian president will be the de-Stalinization of social consciousness, as well as judicial and police reform, the new chairman of the Council under the Russian president for Promoting the Development of the Institutions of Civil Society and Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, has told Interfax on Tuesday (12 October).

[Original of image copyright (c) 2010. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036]

"There are three priority issues: the de-Stalinization of social consciousness, judicial and police reform, as well as protecting the rights of children and the family," Fedotov stressed.

He said that practically all the material on these problems "has largely been prepared". "I hope and expect that it will be presented to the president by the end of the year," Fedotov added.

He said that the first session of the Council was expected to take place next week.

(Ekho Moskvy news agency quoted Fedotov as saying that his council "should become a collective adviser to the president". He said that his main task was "to be an intermediary between the Council and the president". He noted that the customary pattern had been replicated with his appointment, as he, a lawyer by profession, followed on from Ella Pamfilova, "a major public and political figure and human rights activist", just as lawyer Vladimir Kartashkin took over from Sergey Kovalev, a human rights activist, as head of the then Human Rights Commission under the president. He said that the Council should "continue the traditions which were laid down by its previous heads".)

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