CONSERVATIVE PARTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 MAY 2018

FORMER RUSSIAN OLIGARCH AND DISSIDENT MIKHAIL KHORDORKOVSKY AND CHESS CHAMPION AND DISSIDENT GARRY KASPAROV TO TESTIFY AT HEARING ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA

Mikhail Khordorkovsky, founder of Open Russia, former chess champion and dissident Garry Kasparov, alongside two other human rights activists from Russia, will address the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission on Wednesday 6 June in a hearing on human rights in Russia to be held from 2-3pm in Committee Room 19, Houses of Parliament.

Mr Khordorkovsky, who was once reportedly the wealthiest man in Russia, left the country in 2013 after spending eight years in prison after a politicized trial. He had been head of YUKOS, one of the world’s largest oil producers, where he established international management codes of practice, and substantially increased production. In 2001 he founded Open Russia as a foundation to support civil society and to strengthen democracy, and in 2014 he relaunched the organization in exile, in order to promote free and fair elections, protection of journalists and activists, media freedom and the rule of law. He has been described by The Economist as "the Kremlin’s leading critic-in-exile".

Mr Kasparov, who became the under-18 chess champion of the Soviet Union at the age of 12, the world under-20 champion aged 17 and the youngest world chess champion in history aged 22, has become an international champion of democracy and human rights in Russia. A prominent defender of human rights and democracy, he is chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and is the author of Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. He will be testifying to the hearing via Skype.

Alongside Mr Kasparov and Mr Khordorkovsky at the hearing on 6 June will be the award-winning Russian activist Oleg Kozlovsky, and lawyer and human rights advocate Daniil Lipin.

Mr Kozlovsky is a co-founder and director of Vision of Tomorrow, an NGO working to strengthen civil society through leadership training. Over the past 18 years, he has been a prominent member of youth movement Oborona, the Other Russia coalition, SPS party, and other pro-democracy groups in Russia. Mr Kozlovsky has been arrested multiple times, jailed, illegally drafted into the army and declared persona non grata by Belarus’ Lukashenko regime and Ukraine’s Yanukovich regime.

Mr Lipin is the former co-ordinator of the Movement for the Defence of Voters Rights (GOLOS) and a member of the coordinating council of the project “Citizen Observer”. He is an outspoken advocate for freedom of expression, assembly and the press, the right to fair trial, and space for civil society.

This hearing follows two previous sessions held in Parliament by the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, in which evidence was heard from, among others, Marina Litvinenko, widow of murdered Alexander Litvinenko, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian pro-democracy campaigner and opposition politician, and Bill Browder, author of Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No 1 Enemy.

Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said: “We are deeply concerned about the deterioration in respect for human rights in Russia and the increasingly serious violations of basic freedoms. It is for this reason that we are holding this inquiry into human rights in Russia. We are enormously grateful to the courageous people from Russia, as well as eminent international experts on Russia, who have been willing to testify to our Commission, sometimes at considerable personal risk, and we look forward to our final session on 6 June where we will hear from four extremely distinguished, courageous and experienced people. The hearing, which will be our third, will conclude the inquiry and we will then assess the evidence we have gathered, consider our recommendations, and publish a report in due course. We hope this inquiry will serve to highlight human rights concerns in Russia and contribute to finding ways to address this increasingly grave situation.”

Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said: “We are deeply concerned about the deterioration in respect for human rights in Russia and the increasingly serious violations of basic freedoms. It is for this reason that we are holding this inquiry into human rights in Russia. We are enormously grateful to the courageous people from Russia, as well as eminent international experts on Russia, who have been willing to testify to our Commission, sometimes at considerable personal risk, and we look forward to our final session on 6 June where we will hear from four extremely distinguished, courageous and experienced people. The hearing, which will be our third, will conclude the inquiry and we will then assess the evidence we have gathered, consider our recommendations, and publish a report in due course. We hope this inquiry will serve to highlight human rights concerns in Russia and contribute to finding ways to address this increasingly grave situation.”

For further information please contact Benedict Rogers, Deputy Chair, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, at benedictrogerscphrc@gmail.com or call Johnny Monro in the office of Fiona Bruce MP on 020 7219 7042. You can also visit www.conservativehumanrights.com