04 April 2012, 10:07
Russian ombudsman slams Danish govt over anti-Islamic rally
Moscow, April 4, Interfax - A senior Russian human rights official slammed the Danish government on Tuesday for allowing a far-right rally that sought to set up a Europe-wide "anti-Islamic alliance."
"The rally of several hundred neo-Nazis on Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, is a lawful reason for indignation. Its participants also included ultra-rightists, radicals and nationalists from Britain, Germany, Sweden and some other countries, who were crying out racist and anti-Islamic slogans. It is surprising that the ultra-right meeting was permitted by the Danish authorities," Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, said in a statement.
"Such official support for extremist gatherings and connivance at racist and neo-Nazi tendencies serve to fuel the growth of intolerance in society and boost what already are noticeable radical sentiments in Europe," he said.
"It is especially dangerous that attempts are made to manipulate the religious feelings of people for narrow political purposes that have nothing to do with the true aspirations of an overwhelming majority of the population of those countries," Dolgov said.
"It appears that the Danish leadership should have prevented that meeting, a meeting of a kind that discredits the policy of any state on human rights, democracy and rule of law," he said.
Dolgov hopes that Copenhagen will draw appropriate conclusions for the future, something that Denmark's international commitments make necessary," he said.
The rally, held on Saturday, was organized by the English Defence League (EDL).
European media reports said it was no accident that the radicals had chosen Denmark because the Danish People's Party, one of Europe's most powerful anti-immigrant parties, had won about 14% of votes at the latest parliamentary elections.
The Russian Foreign Ministry instituted its office of human rights, democracy and rule of law commissioner last year.