Press Release

Khodorkovsky: 50th birthday in jail

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 12:45
rusty barbed wire

On June 26, Mikhail Khodorkovsky will mark his 50th birthday. Sadly, he will not be able to celebrate together with his family or friends. His tragic fate demonstrates not only the absence of an independent judiciary in Russia, but also the deep-rooted fear those in power have of any alternative coming from outside their narrow circle.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Chief Executive of the Yukos Oil company, was arrested on October 25 2003. Since then, he has endured two trials that have been criticised by the international community as being emblematic of the problems of the rule of law and human rights in Russia.

Despite legal injustice and continued humiliation, the Russian authorities have failed to break Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He has become even stronger, morally, and clearer in his ideas of developing democracy in Russia. Indeed, Khodorkovsky has grown into a symbol of hope for a different, citizen-friendly and open Russia, something which could have started ten years ago already.

We, Members of the European Parliament, congratulate Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his family on today’s important jubilee. We are convinced that his difficult and consistent fight for transparency and justice has not been in vain and will finally bear fruit.  

We are also convinced that Russia will not develop into a reliable rule-of-law society unless Mikhail Khodorkovsky receives justice and is freed without further delay. We confirm our continued commitment to do everything possible to ensure that Khodorkovsky’s rights are fully respected and restored.

Latvian MEP Inese Vaidere, EPP Group Coordinator in the EP Human Rights Subcommittee, said: "Ten years is a long time in a country's history, even more so in a person's life. I look forward to Mikhail Khodorkovsky's release as soon as possible. If Russia aspires to develop a closer and more productive relationship with the EU, it should release all political prisoners".

Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam commented: “Khodorkovsky’s fate and his treatment by the Russian authorities has become a litmus test for the state of Russian civil society and rule-of-law system. By rising above his personal tragedy, he has developed powerful moral potential. Ironically, it looks as if Mr Putin has himself become a moral prisoner of Khodorkovsky, which is why he is so afraid to set him free. At the same time, Khodorkovsky, while still physically in custody, has become much more free than Putin ever could be”.

The Khodorkovsky case, along with several other trials and judicial proceedings such as the Sergei Magnitsky, Anna Politkovskaya and Alexei Navalny cases, feature regularly in the European Parliament’s Resolutions and Reports, most recently in its Resolution of 13 June 2013 on the rule of law in Russia.

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 269 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

MEP Contacts

-
Inese VAIDERE
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845424 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849424
Email: inese.vaidere@europarl.europa.eu
-
Tunne KELAM
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845279 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849279
Email: tunne.kelam@europarl.europa.eu
-
Sari ESSAYAH (Former MEP)
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845178 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849178
Email: sari.essayah@europarl.europa.eu
-
Andrey KOVATCHEV
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845662 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849662
Email: andrey.kovatchev@europarl.europa.eu
-
Paweł ZALEWSKI (Former MEP)
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845481 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849481
Email: pawel.zalewski@europarl.europa.eu

Pages

Press Contacts

Girts Salmgriezis
Latvian press
Phone: +32 477 80 03 43

Latest News

Good teams make money
Fri, 19/12/2014 - 11:23

Investment plan is an opportunity Europe should use

“The European Council has given the green light to Jean-Claude Juncker’s investment plan. This is an important and strong signal”,...
Flag of Georgia
Thu, 18/12/2014 - 11:02

Association with Georgia forces Tbilisi to respect democracy

The European Parliament has approved the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia making Georgia the third country of the Eastern...
European Parliament plenary round-up: Commission Work Programme 2015 - EU Budget - Conditional recognition of Palestine
Thu, 18/12/2014 - 10:59

European Parliament plenary round-up: Commission Work Programme 2015 - EU Budget - Conditional recognition of Palestine

European Commission presents 2015 work programme which will cut red-tape; Parliament passes hard-fought 2015 budget to address foreign policy and...
Leopoldo Lopez
Thu, 18/12/2014 - 10:55

Venezuela: EP condems authoritarian practices

The European Parliament today adopted a Resolution which goes firmly against the authoritarian practices of the Venezuelan Government. MEPs condemn...

Highlights of the week

From 15.12.2014 to 19.12.2014
Jean-Claude Juncker and Manfred Weber

EU investment plan summit

On Wednesday, Manfred Weber, the EPP Group Chairman, will lead the debate on behalf of the EPP Group on the preparation of the European Summit of 18...
Savings

Commission 2015 work programme

On Tuesday, the European Commission will adopt its work programme for 2015. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will discuss the programme with...
word budget

Seal the deal: EU budget 2015

On Wednesday, MEPs will give their blessing to the deal on the EU budget 2015 reached by budget negotiators for Parliament and the Council of...

Events

17th EPP Group Annual Interreligious Dialogue
Wed, 10/12/2014 - 14:30

The 17th EPP Group Annual Interreligious Dialogue

The EPP Group has been committed over the past decades to regular meetings with representatives of the historical...
Shopper Selecting Package of Ground Beef
Wed, 19/11/2014 - 18:30

European Meat Forum

Migration, Europe and the Economic Crisis
Tue, 18/11/2014 - 15:00

Conference on Migration, Europe and the Economic Crisis

The EPP Group will hold a conference entitled 'Migration, Europe and the Economic Crisis - The role of the Church...