Czech prime minister lukewarm on human rights issues in Russia

Although the Czech prime minister met with a group of human rights advocates in Moscow, he remained non-committal in the course of the debate and had little sympathy for jailed members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot. Mr. Nečas said that in his eyes they were no freedom fighters but young people who had desecrated the Orthodox Church and been punished for it, albeit too severely. He warned the media against creating what he called “false idols”. The prime minister’s lukewarm stance on human rights violations in the country elicited criticism from Radio Liberty which recalled one of his earlier statements that support for the Dalai Lama or Pussy Riot would not be allowed to jeopardize Czech business interests.