The United States of America today welcomed the pardon and release from prison of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, formerly the richest man in Russia.
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated US concerns about due process violations and selective prosecution in Russia, including against Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, who remains in prison.
Secretary Kerry urged Russia to pursue reforms that establish a transparent, independent, and reliable judicial system that upholds its commitments to human rights, the rule of law, and non-discrimination.
“The United States supports the rights of all Russians to exercise their freedoms of expression, association, assembly, and belief, regardless of their political views.” – Secretary Kerry
He explained these fundamental rights are enshrined in the Russian Constitution as well as in international agreements to which Russia has committed itself.
“They are universal values, and their protection is a fundamental responsibility of all governments.” – Secretary Kerry
Free at last
Mikhail Khodorkovsky was freed from his prison camp after receiving a pardon from Vladimir Putin.
According to media reports, Mr.Khodorkovsky flew to Germany where his mother is undergoing treatment.
Khodorkovsky who was due to complete his sentence in August, joined a number of prominent prisoners including Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina who were released in an amnesty before the February Games.