Washington – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) issued the following statements today after learning that a Russian court sentenced a law enforcement official to two years in prison for the murder of independent journalist Magomed Yevloyev.
“I share the serious concern of human rights defenders who knew Mr. Yevloyev – a courageous reporter who founded the main opposition web site in Ingushetia,” said Chairman Cardin. “His murder silenced yet another voice reporting on the chaos that threatens to engulf the North Caucasus and a mere two-year sentence for his killer sends a strong and shameful message of impunity.”
“In today’s Russia it seems that you can commit all manner of violence and outrage against the weaker segments of society and be reasonably assured of a slap on the wrist at worst.” Co-Chairman Hastings said. “But try running a highly-profitable private enterprise or exposing government corruption and your days could be numbered. If Moscow is serious about being a responsible member of the civilized international community it needs to get serious about protecting the rights of all its citizens, especially those most at risk.”