Press Release

Khodorkovsky: 50th birthday in jail

Brussels
, 26.06.2013 - 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: +32 477 800 343

Latest

Romanian Flag
28.09.2016 - 09:32

EPP Group to debate future of cohesion policy in Bucharest

Starting on Thursday, the EPP Group Bureau will hold a two-day meeting in Bucharest, Romania, to discuss cohesion policy as a structural policy...
European Commission
27.09.2016 - 19:29

Tighter rules for Code of Conduct for Commissioners

Code of Conduct for Commissioners should be mandatory and not voluntary The rapporteur of the Budgetary Control Committee, Inge Gräßle...
euro coin
27.09.2016 - 15:05

ECA: Brincat not the right person for the job

“It is extremely regrettable that the Council did not respect Parliament’s vote in the case of Leo Brincat, Malta’s nominee to the...
gas pipe line
27.09.2016 - 15:00

Gas Supply: solidarity with vulnerable Member States

“We have to show solidarity with Member States who are already 100 percent dependent on the import of gas and with no or a limited number of...

Highlights of the week

26.09.2016 - 30.09.2016
Romanian Flag

EPP Group to debate future of Cohesion Policy in Bucharest

Starting on Thursday, the EPP Group Bureau will hold a two-day meeting in Bucharest, Romania, to discuss cohesion policy as a structural policy...
word budget

EU Budget 2017: promoting competitiveness, innovation and security

On 28-29 September, the European Parliament's Budgets Committee will approve the budgetary amendments for the EU Budget 2017. Siegfried Mureşan...
gas pipe line

LNG and gas storage: boosting the EU's energy security

On Monday, the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will vote on a Report drafted by András Gyürk MEP on...

Events

Sep
28
28.09.2016 - 15:00

Solutions for the EU post COP 21

If you need an access badge to attend this event please register by sending an email to: EPP-POST-COP21-Hearing@ep....
Sep
28
28.09.2016 - 15:00

Implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme from the aspect of youth, sport and volunteering

If you need an access badge to attend this event please register by sending an email to: foteini.polyzou@europarl....
Medical touchscreen