Russia believes US legislation will eventually meet international human rights standards

(AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)
Russia welcomes the US Senate’s decision to bring the legislation in line with the international law on Human Rights, but notes that the process has not yet been completed, a top Russian diplomat has said.

The comment by the Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Konstantin Dolgov, deals with the so called Feinstein Amendment – a legal document intended to prevent the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents captured on American soil – that was adopted by the Senate in late November. The bill still gives the military the power to indefinitely detain terror suspects without charge or trial.

It is positive that some senators have at least admitted, by approving this amendment, that the US legislation is not only imperfect (in human rights), but that it directly contradicts the existing international legal norms. This is a result of the criticism that has been voiced and will be voiced in future by the international bodies and foreign countries, including Russia,” the Russian diplomat said in a statement. “We welcome the fact of the apparent understanding of this imperfection of the US legislation, but there are drawbacks that remain, and they are not covered by this amendment,” Dolgov added.

The official said that the main imperfection is that the new law is only protecting US citizens and people with the permanent resident status while the 2001 law allows military arrest of suspected terrorists regardless of their citizenship and place of detention. This makes the amendment largely a declarative document as the Pentagon retains the right “to arrest whoever they feel like to in violation of the basic democratic principles of personal immunity and fair justice, and to keep prisoners in legal vacuum for indefinite period of time”.

Therefore, the Russian diplomat stated that his country still hopes that the US legislators would return to this issue and make corrections to the US laws in points that deal with citizens of other nations.