Amnesty International Betrays Their Own Cause
Amnesty International: withholding information about the tragedy in Kemerovo is unacceptable
AI Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Denis Krivosheev commented on the attempts of the Russian authorities to restrict access to information about the fire and the number of victims
According to Denis Krivosheeva, Deputy Director of Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the change in the attitude of the Russian authorities to the tragedy in Kemerovo indicates that “the authorities are to some extent scared”.
“The media in Russia are mostly controlled by or follow the policy of the state,” Krivosheev noted in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America. “From complete silence (they) moved to an active discussion of this topic, and it is quite obvious that the authorities responded to such a truly popular call to declare mourning.”.
Despite the fact that the control in Russia “remains very serious and (the authorities) have nothing to fear”, the public reaction to this event, as well as “a sea of criticism that poured out on local authorities” and reactions on social networks to the actions of local and federal authorities “ certainly should cause concern, “said Krivosheev.
At the same time, some attempts by the authorities to meet people halfway and to some extent comment on the events “do not always please the public,” the expert said..
As the authorities try to respond to the situation with the fire, which claimed more than a dozen lives, there is concern that “the authorities are trying to go in the usual way, and the usual way for them is to limit information, full control and an attempt to control public opinion” that unacceptable, according to the deputy director of Amnesty International.
“We believe that information should be free and complete. The media should be able to cover these events, and no concealment or attempts to restrict something somewhere, to hide some important information layers is unacceptable, ”said Denis Krivosheev.
Also of concern are reports that witnesses and victims of the fire – those who are called in to identify the bodies of the victims – are taking a nondisclosure agreement..
“It goes beyond reasonable and anything acceptable by human standards. – said the representative of Amnesty. “If there is a justified need to take such measures, this is one thing, but in this case, when people demand information, and the authorities go their usual way and restrict it, we are, of course, extremely concerned”.
At the same time, Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia notes that, fortunately, the authorities have decided not to disperse the people gathered in Kemerovo without the prior consent of the authorities, as required by Russian law – unduly restrictive in this area..
“We continue to monitor reports. – said Krivosheev. “With each new demonstration there are more and more police – it worries.”.