Rights' activist goes on hunger-strike in protest against presidential council formation prinicples

Human rights activist Alexander Brod has gone on a hunger-strike in disagreement with the selection of candidates to vacancies on the presidential Human Rights Council.

"I am not an advocate of radical protest methods. But the entire arsenal of measures of my colleagues and myself has been exhausted," he said to Interfax.

He said he disagreed with the way candidates to the council were chosen but received formal answers.

"Members of the Human Rights' Council and the working group pretended that scores of civil society representatives mean nothing," he said speaking of those who were not listed as candidates to the renewed council.

"I decided to attract attention to the problem and start a hunger-strike," he said.

"We want to see a strong council that would protect the interests of people with the involvement of experienced civil activists. There are very influential figures among the candidates, no doubt. But there are also those whom the working group pushed 'for their eyes only'. Such a clan sprit is impermissible. I believe that quite a few professionals were overlooked," he said.

He said he had sent a letter to council chairman Mikhail Fedotov expressing doubts about "the justifiability of choosing candidates for public Internet consultations, the composition of the working group and the impartiality of its opinions."

"I demand the immediate cancellation of the decisions of the working group, a new open and objective selection of candidates with the involvement of all current members of the Council, independent experts, the observation of transparent selection criteria instead," Brod said.

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