Kasparov Speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum

At the end of April, Chess Grandmaster and Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov spoke at the 2010 Oslo Freedom Forum, where leading human rights advocates, dissidents, journalists, and academics gathered from all over the world to discuss the challenges they face in each of their countries. Kasparov dedicated his speech to obstacles in Russia that are hindering the development of civil society and democracy, including rampant corruption and state repression of opposition views – and, overwhelmingly, the continued string-pulling by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that controls the country’s policies. A few weeks later, the forum released video of the speeches on YouTube.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, who Kasparov criticizes in his speech for lacking the want or will to dismiss the prime minister and pave the way for a democratic state, was ironically also in Oslo at the time for an official visit to Norway and stayed in the same hotel as the rights advocates. The president, notes Kasparov, would have done well to attend the forum.

Other videos from the forum can be viewed by clicking here. As of this writing, a speech by renowned Chechen lawyer and rights activist Lidia Yusupova has not yet been posted, but is apparently forthcoming.