ADC “Memorial” supports Igor Kochetkov for the position of Ombudsman of St. Petersburg

Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” supports the candidacy of Igor Kochetkov for the position of Human Rights Commissioner of St. Petersburg. The priorities of Kochetkov’s human rights program– implementation of a complex, anti-discriminatory, regional law in St. Petersburg and the fight against police violence – completely correspond to our view on the more pressing issues in the sphere of human rights in our city.

The discrimination of minority members, according to the High Commissioner of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, is “the core” of all problems related to Human Rights violations. ADC “Memorial” believes that the passing of a complex, anti-discriminatory law is absolutely necessary to overcome the practice of discrimination and abasement of human dignity, which the members of national, religious and sexual minorities face every day.

The problem with police violence also requires an immediate legal reaction. The residents of St. Petersburg, foreign workers, students, participants of large-scale events, men, women and even children are often subjected to illegal, cruel treatment by the police officers. ADC “Memorial” monitors police violence by working in the sphere of protection of the rights of migrant workers, members of ethnic minorities and civil activists. The knowledge of this problem convinces us that it needs to be immediately resolved. Igor Kochetkov proved, more than once, his dedication to the ideas of Human Rights, willingness to combat discrimination, abasement of human dignity and violence, not sparing himself. We could not wish for a better Human Rights Commissioner for our city.

The candidate for the post of Ombudsman, chairman of Russia’s LGBT network, Igot Kochetkov, announced his priorities in the event that he is elected for this position. He considers the main focus of his job to be combating discrimination and strengthening mechanisms of reaction to situations involving police brutality.

For many government officials, the practice of human rights had turned into a political game a long time ago. Human rights are referred to only when it is advantageous from the political point of view. In such situation, the voice of many minorities is left unheard,” explains Igor Kochetkov.

As the city’s ombudsman, I intend to openly talk about human rights violations in relation to any types of minorities and am ready to implement all of my work experience in the sphere of advancement of anti-discrimination policies,” announced Igor Kochetkov.

We remind that the candidacy of Igor Kochetkov wasproposed by the St. Petersburg Social-Democratic Youth Union (RSDSM).

We took a very careful approach to selecting a most suitable candidate for the position of Human Rights Commissioner. Assessing the professional and humane qualities of I.V. Kochetkov, as well as his integrity, we are confident that the candidate we nominated is fully capable to meet the needs of the contemporary, democratic city,” remarked Anatoly Kanyukov, chairman of the St. Petersburg branch of RSDSM.

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