Russia frees imprisoned journalist:
"Grigory Pasko's release an encouraging sign for civil liberties in Russia"
The Greens/EFA group in the European parliament today welcomed the release on parole of Russian journalist and environmental activist Grigory Pasko. Pasko, who was nominated the Green/EFA candidate to the Sakharov prize 2003, was jailed for having published information concerning the Russian Pacific Fleet dumping nuclear waste and used arms into the sea. Pasko's release came unexpected since he had not admitted any guilt.
"The detention of Pasko was a slap in the face of civil liberties," said Daniel Cohn-Bendit , Co-President of the Green/EFA group in the European Parliament. "The Russian authorities were put under such an international pressure that in the end they had to do the right thing and set Pasko free. This is an encouraging sign for civil liberties and a victory for freedom of expression in Russia"
Bart Staes MEP (Belgium) Chairman of the EP delegation for relations with Russia added: "It is a encouraging sign for the fragile Russin democracy, but much has still to be done so that the rule of law takes root in the Russian society."
Matti Wuori MEP (Finland) said: "Pasko had become a symbol of independent journalism, something Russia is badly lacking in times of dwindling space for independent media. Thanks to him we got to know all the problems as regards radioactive pollution in the Pacific. He also launched the alarm on nuclear proliferation due to the mismanagement of the radioactive waste by the Russian authorities."