President Vladimir Putin has called human rights ombudsmen his allies and proposed to make the office of human rights ombudsmen mandatory in every Russian district.
"Your work as absolutely independent people is of paramount importance. I think you are my direct allies in the protection of interests and lawful rights of citizens, which is the most important part of my work and the essence and goal of my entire activity," he told regional human rights ombudsmen on Thursday.
There are human rights ombudsmen in 67 regions, Putin said.
"This means there is no such institute in certain regions. I'd rather not cast stones or accuse anyone, but it seems they are not eager to have an institute independent from regional authorities or anyone else," the president said.
He also proposed to discuss "legislative upgrading" of ombudsmen's work.
"We may make this decision with you right now: we may put forward the initiative at the State Duma and make this norm [the establishment of ombudsmen's offices] mandatory for every region of Russia," Putin said.
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