Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kasparov on Human Rights

Earlier this week, ex chess number one Gary Kasparov wrote a piece for the Financial Teams in which he accused Terry Davis secretary-general of the Council of Europe, and who supports the Russian president Vladimir Putin, of placing himself "in opposition to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch".

Kasparov goes on to say:

The European Court of Human Rights receives more individual complaints from Russia than any other nation. Mr. Davis would hold that the increase in complaints is a sign of progress instead of a reflection of Russia’s descent into a full-blown dictatorship.

Such an attitude does great damage to the credibility of these organizations and sacrifices their moral authority. The same is true of the World Trade Organisation, which is considering Russia’s admission. Any benefits from this bartering on trade and human rights have been for our authoritarian rulers, not for the Russian people.

In a letter to the Financial Times, Terry Davis states his response.

Sir, Chess is a game in which there are two opponents, and everything is black and white. Politics and international affairs are different, but this important distinction is unfortunately ignored by Garry Kasparov in his article "Investors must not sell out Russian liberties" (June 20). He is wrong in several important respects.

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