Panfilova Resigns from HR Council for “Moral and Ethical Reasons”

Elena Panfilova. Source: Radiorus.ruElena Panfilova, member of the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights, is resigning from her post for “moral and ethical reasons,” reports.

“Everyone wants to continue working, which is simply wonderful. Whether or not we want to enter the new council or not is generally not an issue. That is the prerogative of the elected president. Everyone is considering this situation very sensibly. That is not a secret. First of all, let other people give it a shot… And secondly, I wouldn’t want to be part of the council in the form it’s going to take for a whole set of moral and ethical reasons,” Panfilova explained.

“I think that, considering the changes that are happening in our country, I’m going to be more useful as a civil activist or member of another group of experts,” she added in an interview with Interfax.

The last session of the current council under President Dmitri Medvedev was held earlier in the day on Saturday. The new council will be formed after Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president on May 7.

The Presidential Council on Human Rights was originally created in 2004 on the order of then-President Putin. Its ostensible purpose is to cooperate with the head of state to uphold laws concerning human and civil rights, inform the president of the state of affairs in that area, facilitate the development of civil society institutions, and to present proposals to the president to further these ends. However, it is a purely consultative body and lacks any authority to implement its own recommendations, and has been criticized as providing the regime with a mere facade of concern for human and civil rights.