Russian Greens blast Jill Stein’s silence on Putin’s human rights abuses

Two representatives of the Russian Green Party eviscerated American Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein today for her cozy relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Greens said Stein was a willing accomplice of Putin’s human rights abuses against the LGBT community, environmentalists, artists, journalists and political dissidents:

“By silencing Putin’s crimes you are silencing our struggle. By shaking his hand and failing to criticize his regime you are becoming his accomplice. By forgetting what international solidarity means you are insulting the Russian environmental movement.”

In particular, Russian environmental activists Yevgeniya Chirikova and Nadezda Kutepova criticized Stein for her recent trip last winter to Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Russian state propaganda organ. The event included a dinner at which Stein sat at the same dinner table as Putin.

At the same dinner table was seated Donald Trump’s military adviser, retired-Gen. Mike Flynn. Flynn was seated directly next to Putin.

Photo of Jill Stein at RT anniversary dinner with Putin and Trump adviser Gen. Mike Flynn in Moscow, December 2015.

Photo of Jill Stein at RT anniversary dinner with Putin and Trump adviser Gen. Mike Flynn in Moscow, December 2015.

Chirikova and Kutepova particularly noted that during her trip Stein didn’t not even mention Putin’s horrific record on human rights, particularly as it pertains to political prisoners, environmental activists, artists and journalists.

It should be noted that Stein did mention human rights in Moscow, when she was criticizing the US.

The two also criticized Stein’s failure to bring up Russia’s relatively-new and draconian anti-LGBT propaganda law.

I had written a few weeks ago about Stein’s trip to Moscow, and within a day Russian state media came to Stein’s defense by publishing an attack on me.

Here is the Green Party activists’ letter to Stein:

Dear Dr. Stein

We are writing to you in the spirit of green values and principles, which include fighting for a sustainable future, defending the environment and human rights, and engaging in international solidarity. We are also writing to you as eco-activists, women and mothers.

In November of this year, you will face an important challenge which will have an impact all over the world, even far away from US borders. As Russian eco-activists, we are following the US presidential election with curiosity and fear. Curiosity for your democratic system and fear for the impact that the result of this election could have on our lives and the lives of our children.

As environmentalists and human rights defenders, we often support Green candidates all over the world when they run for local, national or continental election. However, we are asking ourselves if we can support your candidature for the Presidency of the United States of America. We have carefully read your program and your website and we have to admit that we are deeply shocked by the position you expressed during your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Mr. Vladimir Putin.

During the last few years, Russian authorities have continued the destruction of the rich and unique Russian environment. The Kremlin is heavily contributing to global climate change and the destruction of global biodiversity by over-using Russian natural resources and promoting unsafe nuclear energy. Corruption and anti-democratic behavior of the current Russian government has also led to negative impacts on Russia’s unique forests and natural heritage. Russian eco-activists and human rights defenders are also facing an increasingly repressive system which was constructed under Putin’s regime. The list of the victims of this system is unfortunately becoming longer and longer. Russian environmentalist Yevgeniy Vitishko spent 22 months in prison for a non-violent action. Journalist Mikhail Beketov was violently attacked in 2008, suffered serious injuries, and died in 2013. Our personal cases are also symbolic: because of our activism, and in order to protect our children, we were both forced to leave Russia and to seek political asylum in the European Union.

After your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Vladimir Putin you said that the world deserve[s] a new commitment to collaborative dialogue between our governments to avert disastrous wars for geopolitical domination, destruction of the climate, and cascading injustices that promote violence and terrorism. We agree with you. But how can this new collaborative dialogue be possible when Mr. Putin has deliberately built a system based on corruption, injustice, falsification of elections, and violation of human rights and international law? How is it possible to have a discussion with Mr. Putin and not mention, not even once, the fate of Russian political prisoners, or the attacks against Russian journalists, artists, and environmentalists? Is it fair to speak with him about geopolitics and not mention new Russian laws against freedom of speech, restrictions on NGOs and activists, or the shameful law that forbids homosexual propaganda.

By silencing Putin’s crimes you are silencing our struggle. By shaking his hand and failing to criticize his regime you are becoming his accomplice. By forgetting what international solidarity means you are insulting the Russian environmental movement.

Dr. Stein, you still have several weeks before the elections in order to clarify your position on the anti-democratic and anti-environmental elements of Putin’s regime. We sincerely hope that our voices will be heard and that our questions will not go unanswered.

Best regards, Evgeniya Chirikova and Nadezda Kutepova

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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