2005-10-04 16:04:00

Rights activists don't see Lenin burial as pressing issue

Moscow, October 4, Interfax - Human rights activists differ over whether the body of Vladimir Lenin should be buried, but agree that it is not a pressing issue for Russia.

"It is a barbarous story and an end must be put to the savagery of keeping a human mummy," Memorial human rights center official Svetlana Gannushkina told Interfax on Tuesday.

"If the public easily accepts the idea of burying Lenin in keeping with Russian Orthodox traditions, why not," she said. However, she recalled that Lenin was an atheist.

"Burying Lenin's body today is not the most pressing issue for Russia. There are greater problems in the country," she added.

For Human Rights movement leader Lev Ponomaryov said: "I am not religious and therefore I'm indifferent to the issue. Suggestions on burying Lenin have been made for a long time, but this is not the most pressing matter now."

"It is a convenient subject for undermining the positions of the communists. The debate on the problem will distract the public from resolving acute problems - the protection of civil rights and resistance to the arbitrariness of law enforcement bodies," Ponomaryov told Interfax on Tuesday.

On Monday, Duma Deputy Speaker Lyubov Sliska of United Russia party said it would be correct to finally bury Lenin's body according to Christian traditions.

Duma Legislation Committee Pavel Krasheninnikov said that under present conditions, the Russian public would permit the burying of Lenin's body.