За равные права
Президент Русской общины Латвии (РОЛ)
Письмо правозащитникам России и Европы
To: Ms Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman
1 avenue du President Robert Schuman
P-67001 Strasbourg Cedex France
To: Mr Vladimir Lukin, Ombudsman of
the Russian Federation (till 18/03/2014)
Ms Ella Pamfilova, Ombudsman of
the Russian Federation (sincc 18/03/2014)
Myasnitskaya 47, Moscow. 101000, Russia
I am addressing these two questions to you as to a person sincerely concerned with respecting the rights of every human being, as to a person occupying the High Office of the European Ombudsman, wiio is guiding the work of experts with deep knowledge in human rights sphere.
As you may know, during the accession process to the Eli in 2004. Latvia promised, in line with recommendations of international organisations, to speed-up naturalisation and allow «Latvian non-citizens» to vote in municipal elections. Unfortunately, Latvia jailed both promises.
1) Let us remind that in October 1991 (two months since the restoration of independence de- facto), the Parliament of Latvia disenfranchised 1/3 of its own voters, the majority of whom voted in independence referendum earlier the same year. The decision to disenfranchise was taken by the MPs of the Latvia's Popular Front, which in its official pre-election programme promised to «grant citizenship to those permanent residents of Latvia, who declare their will to receive the citizenship of Latvia and clearly bind their fate with the state of Latvia» (and no other requirements). The number of Latvians without Latvian citizenship was reduced from nearly 900,000 to less than 300*000 by 2014. yet only 140,000 were able to restore their rights through naturalisation, while for the most part (450.000) the reduction took place through death, emigration and applying for foreing citizenship. Regarding the remaining «Latvian non-citizens», the authorities did not restore even the right to vote in municipal elections. European history knows only one precedent of the state mass-scale disenfrachising its own electorate — people, who committed no crime and without the opportunity to appeal: the Nazis, who came to power through democratic procedures, revoked the citizenship rights of Jews, Slavs and Romas,
Question I: what is Your expert opinion — does the fact of the parliament mass- scale disenfrachising its own electorate — people, who committed no crime and without the opportunity to appeal — represents a violation of human rights?
2) Let us also remind that the decision to create special category of population — «Latvian non-citizens» was politically motivated, i.e. it originated in a non-legal field and docs not clearly match any of the universally accepted standards of relationships between the state and the human being. For example, the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights recognised that «non-citizens ... are neither citizens, nor foreigners, nor stateless persons... [population]... falls within this category, unknown in public international law». The Constitutional Court of Latvia on 7 March 2005 recognised that «assignment of the status of non-citizens to the said group of subjects was the result of complicated political compromise».
Question 2: What are the opportunities, with the involvement of international organisations and human rights experts, to bring (his category of human beings out of the political dimension and back into the legal field, into the human rights area, restoring the rights of the people who committed no crime?
Riga, 6 March 2014
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В отношениях с Прибалтикой
Петиция по негражданам в ЕП
Мы разворошили это осиное гнездо!
Доктор экономических наук
Сначала люди становятся недогражданами
А потом — недочеловеками
Председатель партии «За родной язык!»
Россия устранила политическую ошибку
Но почему бы не пойти дальше?