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 (Former MEP)
BRU - Phone: +32 (0)2 2845639 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849639
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

Elmar Brok MEP
Mon, 27/10/2014 - 13:23

Elections: Ukraine on a pro-European track

Having spoken to the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, the Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Elmar Brok MEP,...
European Flag
Fri, 24/10/2014 - 13:36

EUCO: growth will come with reform and investment

"Europe’s economy needs more investment to help boost growth. The much-needed 300 billion-euro investment plan, which the European...
Photo of Herman Van Rompuy, his grandchildren and European Heads of State
Fri, 24/10/2014 - 13:00

Energy, climate change: better future for our grandchildren

I am happy to announce that the European Council has agreed on a Climate and Energy deal for Europe for the period 2020 to 2030. It was not easy, not...
EU and Ukraine
Thu, 23/10/2014 - 12:18

Ukraine: EP sends important signal of support

At its plenary session in Strasbourg today, the European Parliament adopted, under the fast-track decision-making procedure, and by a large majority...

Highlights of the week

From 03.11.2014 to 07.11.2014
European Council 2013

European Council: debating conclusions with Van Rompuy

On Tuesday afternoon, in an Open Conference of Presidents, MEPs are to discuss the outcome of the European Council of 23-24 October that focused...

Preparing for Lima Climate Change Conference

On Wednesday, Members of the Environment Committee will vote on a draft resolution in preparation for the COP 20 UN Climate Change Conference taking...
People vote on presidential elections

Ukraine elections aftermath

On Monday, the Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss the General Elections in Ukraine of 26 October with the Head of the EP Observation...

Events

Nov
19
Wed, 19/11/2014 - 18:30

European Meat Forum

4th EPP Group Conference on the Western Balkans: from stabilisation to accession
Tue, 08/04/2014 - 15:00

Western Balkans: from stabilisation to accession

Internet Today and Tomorrow
Wed, 02/04/2014 - 19:00

Internet Today and Tomorrow: Our perspectives for an open, fair and transparent Internet for all

The Internet is a multi-faceted economic and social space. Its extremely fast development has created a world of new...