Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
WRITTEN QUESTION E-1978/02
by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission
(8 July 2002)
Subject: Case of Grigory Pasko
On 25 June the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is at last due to consider the appeal by Mr Grigory Pasko, against his conviction and four-year prison sentence for espionage, keeping supposedly secret information with the "intention" of subsequently revealing it. Mr Pasko has been held in solitary confinement since 25 December 2001. The Supreme Court may decide to acquit Mr Pasko, recognising the absence of any legal basis for the charges against him and the illegality of the police and judicial procedures used in his case, or confirm the earlier verdict and increase the term of imprisonment, or, which seems more likely, cancel the verdict and refer the case back to the Pacific Fleet Court, thus continuing the persecution and harassment suffered by Mr Pasko since 1997.
What steps has the Commission taken to secure an early resolution of the Pasko case in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and the international conventions on human rights and fundamental freedoms ratified by the Russian Federation? What political, diplomatic and other initiatives does the Commission intend to take if the Russian Supreme Court were to confirm Mr Pasko's conviction thereby demonstrating yet again that the judicial system is subordinate to the political and military authorities? In the light of the interminable persecution suffered by Mr Pasko, does the Commission not consider that the funding of environmental protection and rehabilitation programmes in Russia must be linked to effective freedom of investigation and freedom to reveal the findings of such investigations by Russian citizens, whether they are journalists or not?
Joint answer to Written Questions E-1929/02 and E-1978/02
given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
(30 July 2002)
The Commission shares the concern over the situation of Mr Pasko, whose conviction lacks some of the fundamental elements of independent and fair justice such as publicity. The Commission hopes that a speedy solution will be found by the appropriate Russian instances to remedy Mr Pasko's unfortunate personal situation.
Looking beyond the worrying personal situation of Mr Pasko, this affair is also regrettable since it fits into a trend of weakening media freedom in Russia. The ruling of the military collegium of the Supreme Court on 25 June 2002 denying Mr Pasko's appeal, coincided with a number of other court decisions that have raised concerns among Human Rights activists and the media community in Russia, as well as internationally. In this respect, it must be noted that the Joint Statement of EU-Russia Summit on 29 May confirms our common goal of strengthening a society based on respect for democratic principles and human rights. The defence of freedom of expression is fundamental in this context.
The EU has raised the specific case of Mr Pasko with the Russian authorities. The Commission is open to consider further diplomatic action in the light of developments.
More generally, the Union will continue to raise freedom of expression and editorial freedom in its political dialogue with Russia, in particular the need to preserve the important achievements made in the field of freedom of expression since 1991. This is an essential component in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership based on shared core values between the EU and the Russian Federation.
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Dello stesso autore
11/19/2002 Russia Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
05/20/1998 LEGALITY Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission
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