Russia is termed a democratic society because there are elections and, in theory, there is freedom of speech and the press, but in all too many cases those who stand for the rights of those in opposition to the government all too often wind up beaten into unconsciousness by unknown assailants. Lev Ponomaryov arrived home only to be greeted by thugs who beat him so bad he was sent to a hospital. Amnesty International once again called on President Medvedev to take a stand against this hooliganism which was spawned under the regime of Prime Minister Putin. Ponomaryov said bluntly: “I am firmly convinced that this was not a casual attack by hooligans but revenge.”
Ponormaryov has been attending the trial of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was imprisoned for daring to stand up to Putin. The human rights activist has also been meeting with representatives from Europe rights groups. This is not the first time he has been beaten and this is not the first time those who stand for human rights in Russia are beaten, and, in some cases like that of human rights lawyer, Stanislav Markelov they are killed.
President Medvedev was a lawyer who promised to respect human rights. He still has not carried out his promises.