The European Green Party (EGP), at its 2015 Spring Council Meeting, expressed its strong solidarity with environmental activist facing prosecution in the Russian Federation.
Between 2012–15, four environmental activist were killed in Russia. Sixteen have been jailed on apparently framed-up charges. Criminal and administrative charges are put on against dozens of other activists. As a result, many environmental activists and human rights defenders are forced to leave the country in order to escape jail. It becomes more and more dangerous to stand up in protection of forests, parks, rivers, and even animals. In several documented cases public servants were uncovered to have initiated violence against environmentalists. More and more public environmental and human rights organizations are placed on the official lists of "foreign agents" – as if speaking up for the rights of citizens and their right to a livable environment were an act of espionage against Russia.
Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni, EGP Co-Chairs, strongly condemned these developments: "The protection of citizens and their environment is one of the supreme tasks of any government – Russia is no exception. Prosecuting citizens who actively campaign on behalf of the environment is not only unacceptable from a human rights perspective, but also dangerously short sighted. We urge the Russian government to use all its power to stop this abuse of state power, from whatever level of public administration it might originate. We demand that all fabricated charges against environmental activists are dropped instantly and those put in jail are released immediately."
European Greens stand in solidarity with those citizens in Russia who face prosecution for their activities in defense of the environment.