Press conference on Monday in Moscow











Chairwoman Hautala held a press conference in Moscow wih Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg and European Parliament Sakharov Prize 2009 winners Oleg Orlov, Sergey Kovalev and Ludmila Alexeyeva. All participants called for respect for freedom of speech and thought as well as better protection for the human rights defenders in Russia. [:]Chairwoman Hautala especially condemned the overtly broad and intensifying use of the anti-extremist laws to silence the critical voices in Russia. She commented that according to those laws and their extensive interpretation she would most definitely qualify as an extremist too. She also declared “I don’t want to live in a police state.” Amongst many other similar statements, this one is considered extremist by the Russian authorities today.