Amnesty International pressed newly elected President Dimitry Medvedev to initiate a “sea change” in his country’s attitude toward human rights. It noted “in your speech following your inauguration, you stated that human rights and freedoms are of the highest value to Russian society. Amnesty International looks forward to seeing this commitment made a reality.”An Amnesty International report was highly critical of Russia which it acused of employing torture, crushing free speech and ignoring its obligations under international treaties to respect basic freedoms of speech, press, and assembly. “Russia, like China, needss to remember that global leadership bring responsibility and expectations and that, to be credible, it cannot ignore the values and principles of the international community and the promies that it makes on human rights.”
The office of President Medvedev refused to comment on the report as did Russia’s Human Rights ombudsman. Russia was not the only country to be criticised since the report sharply condemned American disrespect for human rights in the Guanatanmo Boy prison. However, there are some slight indications Medvedev might be more receptive than his predecessor Putin to instituting changes that would respect basic freedoms.