If you’re not going to say something constructive, then don’t say anything at all.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland expressed regret on Monday over the crackdown on gay activists during an unsanctioned parade in Moscow at the weekend.
“I regret the clashes that occurred between gay activists and nationalist extremists in Moscow yesterday… The right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, belongs to all people without any discrimination,” Jagland said, adding that the police had a duty to protect peaceful demonstrators.
Uh, not the point. The problem was the Russian police perpetrating their own violence to clearly stop the Pride attendees from holding a press conference, when the national extremists were nowhere in sight. The problem was then the cops arresting the Pride attendees because, supposedly, the extremists attacked them (even if it were true, do you really arrest the victim, and manhandle the victim, for his own protection – really?)
It’s extremely troubling, and downright unhelpful, for the head of the Council of Europe to be buying into the Russian government’s lies, and basically exonerating them from the violence they committed. Someone needs to send M. Jagland the video of the peaceful protesters getting jumped and held upside down by the Russian police. Until that time, he should STFU.
Running the Council of Europe, or any international entity, is a big deal. Jagland should know better than to speak about something and get it wrong, especially in the realm of human rights. Unless of course, he intended to exonerate the Russian government, even though they’re guilty, which would be really bad.