Putin Approves New Kremlin Rights Council

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin approved on Monday the new make-up of the Kremlin’s council on human rights and civil society.

The reshuffle comes after a spate of resignations that began in the wake of last December’s disputed parliamentary elections and continued following Putin’s inauguration for a third presidential term in May.

The new council includes Liliya Shibanova, head of the independent Golos electoral monitoring group that has been harshly criticized by the Kremlin in the past.

Other new members include well-known journalist Leonid Parfyonov, former presidential candidate Irina Khakamada and Alexander Verkhovsky, head of the Sova organization that monitors race-hate crimes.

The presidential human rights council is known for its independent stance, but has no legal authority and its recommendations are frequently ignored.

But Shibanova said that while she was unsure if the council would be able to “influence Putin,” she hoped it would be capable of getting its message across to the presidential administration.

“The council carries out very important work,” she told RIA Novosti. “And while there may be questions over its effectiveness, it undoubtedly has a certain influence.”


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