Human rights within states are crucial to security among states. Prioritizing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, defending the principles of liberty, and encouraging tolerance within societies must be at the forefront of America's foreign policy agenda. Peace, security, and prosperity cannot be sustained if national governments repress their citizens, stifle their media, or imprison members of the political opposition. Authoritarian regimes become increasingly unstable as citizens chafe under the bonds of persecution and violence, and pose a danger not only to their citizens, but also to neighboring nations. The Helsinki Commission strives to ensure that the protection of human rights and defense of democratic values are central to U.S. foreign policy; that they are applied consistently in U.S. relations with other countries; that violations of Helsinki provisions are given full consideration in U.S. policymaking; and that the United States holds those who repress their citizens accountable for their actions. This includes battling corruption; protecting the fundamental freedoms of all people, especially those who historically have been persecuted and marginalized; promoting the sustainable management of resources; and balancing national security interests with respect for human rights to achieve long-term positive outcomes rather than short-term gains.
Russian Rule-of-Law Abuses to Be Examined at Upcoming Helsinki Commission Hearing
WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:
“Russian Violations of the Rule of Law: How Should the U.S. Respond? 3 Case Studies”
Wednesday, October 21
Rayburn House Office Building
Live Webcast: http://bit.ly/1VRaf3G
The actions of the Russian government have raised questions about Russia’s failure to respect its commitment to the rule of law in the areas of military security, commerce, and laws bearing on human rights – each corresponding to one of the three dimensions of security established by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Using the Helsinki Final Act as a basis for discussion, the hearing will focus on security violations of the Budapest Memorandum; the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Open Skies, Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties, and the Vienna Document. Regarding international legal and commercial agreements such as the Energy Charter Treaty, the New York Convention and bilateral investment treaties the hearing will review developments in the Yukos Oil case. On human rights, it will inquire into cases of abduction/unjust imprisonment, torture, and abuse, including those of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and Eston Kover.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Vladimir Kara-Murza, Coordinator, Open Russia Movement
- Alan Larson, Senior International Policy Advisor with Covington & Burlington LLP, former Under Secretary of State for Economics and Career Ambassador, U.S. State Department
- Tim Osborne, Executive Director of GML Ltd. - the majority owner of the now liquidated Yukos Oil Company
- Stephen Rademaker, Principal with the Podesta Group, Former Assistant Secretary of State for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Arms Control and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation