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

Man a airport security checkpoint
26.07.2017 - 16:46

EU Court ruling confirms Canada PNR agreement

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has, in principle, approved the proposed EU agreement with Canada on the exchange of passenger name...
Mexico - EU flags
19.07.2017 - 17:13

EPP Group supports strengthening of EU-Mexico partnership

Members of the EPP Group Presidency are concluding their 3-day official visit to Mexico today. “We have had fruitful and inspiring...
Photo of EU-US map
17.07.2017 - 14:32

EPP Group Presidency on official visit to Mexico

This week, the EPP Group Presidency will be in Mexico on an official visit. From Monday to Thursday, a delegation composed of EPP Group Chair...
justice
13.07.2017 - 12:11

PiS government has crossed the red line of the rule of law

Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, and Esteban González Pons MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairman in charge of...

Highlights of the week

10.07.2017 - 14.07.2017
Smart Borders

Smart Borders: better control of travellers

A new electronic Entry-Exit System to register all non-EU citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay will be voted on in the Committee on...
hands - handshake

Providing support for stability and peace in third countries

On Tuesday, Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee will give the green light to the use of EU funds to help the security forces in third countries...
EPP Group October I Plenary Briefing

Chairman's agenda

Saturday: CSU Party congress, Viechtach/Bavaria Sunday: Participation in a panel discussion, University of Passau/Bavaria Monday: Participation...
Eva Paunova MEP