Posts Tagged ‘fred hyatt’

July 2013

Obama’s broken commitment to human rights in Russia

Washington Post

Like James “Whitey” Bulger, Vladimir Putin likes to make the bodies bounce.

Bulger is the reputed mob boss on trial for multiple murders in Boston. After Bulger learned that a confederate was singing to the FBI, according to some recent testimony, Bulger shot him, and shot him, and shot him, until “his body was bouncing off the ground.”

Putin is the president of Russia, who last week saw to the conviction for tax evasion of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who blew the whistle on massive corruption among Putin’s underlings. Magnitsky died three years ago, when he was beaten and denied treatment in prison. But Putin can’t stop shooting.

The ghoulish conviction is just one stop on a breathtaking rollback of rights and freedoms Putin has engineered since reclaiming the presidency in May 2012. The clampdown has been remarkable for its speed and comprehensiveness — and for President Obama’s apparent utter indifference to it.

Russia has been slipping since 2004, when Putin, in his first term, began dismantling laws that had allowed for political opposition. But in the past year, “the Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on civil society unprecedented in the country’s post-Soviet history,” as Human Rights Watch documented in a 76-page report this spring.

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