Assault of protestors as Putin sworn into office unacceptable
With Alaska and Russia less than three miles apart at the closest point, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich [Alaska] is urging the new Putin administration to honor the civil rights of all its citizens, including those peacefully protesting government policies. As President Putin was sworn into office for another term this week, his law enforcement officers violently cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in Moscow, detained approximately 600 protesters and arrested opposition leaders.
“Alaskans have a special kinship with Russians and are actively engaged in trade and citizen-based educational, cultural and scientific exchanges,” Begich said. “Using violence on peaceful citizens trying to express their views certainly sends a chill through those relationships and across U.S.-Russian relations generally.”
Begich has met with numerous Russian officials as a senator and as former mayor of Anchorage, which shares a sister-city relationship with Magadan, Russia. Two years ago he met with former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in his Washington, D.C., office to discuss opportunities to advance American-Russian relations. Nemtsov was among those arrested in Moscow this week.
Begich urged President Obama to press Putin on human rights issues when they meet during the G-8 summit next month.
Office of U.S. Senator Mark Begich
Begich Urges Russia to Protect Civil Rights of its Citizens (1)