Russian police system in need of urgent reform – human rights activists

Russian human rights activists are calling on President Medvedev to carry out a complete and urgent overhaul of the country’s police system.

At a Kremlin meeting with the Russian President, the activists discussed the police and judicial systems of Russia, along with the fight to end corruption and the situation in the army.

The activists pointed to police officers who recently blew the whistle on lawlessness in the system by using online videos.

Ella Pamfilova, chairperson of the presidential Council on Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights, stressed that the reform of the interior affairs department and the whole Russian police system is necessary.

“Dymovsky syndrome, notwithstanding the Major himself, is just the confirmation of the diagnosis of the whole police system,” she said, adding that “a principal modernization of all law enforcement bodies, where bribery and humiliation of citizens have become a norm, should be carried out.”

Human rights activists also said that corruption levels in Russia show no signs of diminishing, despite the measures being taken to quash it.

The President agreed that a lot more needs to be done and pledged more legal support for NGOs.

Yaroslav Kuzminov from the Council on Human Rights said the activists are satisfied with the results of the meeting.

“Today, we heard President Medvedev's opinion on the questions raised. Sometimes he agreed, sometimes not, but he was never indifferent. I think Russia is finally forming an important, strong base for dialogue between the authorities and society,” he said.