On August 28, 2013 in Yekaterinburg panel discussion «Civilian control by means of Public Monitoring Committee. Formation and activity» was held by non human rights NGO «Legal basis» in association with Public association «Sytyazhnik».
There members of Public Monitoring Committee Adam Kalayev and Dmitry Rozhin, chief officer under Ombudsman of Sverdlovsk region Vladimir Popov, representatives from different human rights organizations, journalists and candidates to Public Monitoring Committee of IIIcalling participated in panel discussion. Secretary from Civil Chamber -E. Velikhov announced about calling of new members on August 16, 2013.
Discussion was opened by Director of NGO «Legal basis», member of Expert council under Ombudsman of Russia — Aleksey Sokolov, who demonstrated his own educational film «Civilian control in Russia as exemplified by Public Monitoring Committee of Rostov region».
This film was made with support of Public Monitoring Committee chairman of Rostov region — Leonid Petrashis and Yuri Smirnov — Federal Service for Execution of punishment.
After interesting viewing of film Roman Kachanov — «Trans regional center of human rights» chairman , expert of workgroup under President of the Russian Federation on civil society development and human rights, attorney- has told about legal aspects of formation and activity of Public Monitoring Committee.
Then right to speak out was given to Chief officer under Ombudsman of Sverdlovsk region -Vladimir Popov. He told audience about cooperative work of Ombudsman of Sverdlovsk region — T. G. Merzlyakova with Public Monitoring Committees as well as contribution to activity of Committees.
Members of Public Monitoring Committee found out in surprise that Ombudsman found some workplace for members.
Journalist Oleg Pavlovich came out with remark that work experience of activity of members is not published in mass media. Main printed media outlet of Federal Service for Execution of punishment posted only positive reports and representatives of prison departments don’t want share information about tortures and violence in penitentiary system.
Operating members of Public Monitoring Committee — D. Rozhin and A. Kalayev shared experience of their work, in particular their cooperation with authorities and main problems, because authorities don’t trust convicts, as many of them use members for personal purposes in order to place pressure upon administration.
Lyudmila Semenovna Lukasheva, chairwoman of Ural association of refugees, suggested to run TV program about work experience of Public Monitoring Committee.
Larisa Zakharova — regional coordinator of NGO «Legal basis», expert of fund «For convicts’ rights protection»- told about current condition of convicts in Ural colonies, about problems concerning human rights, absence of collaborative work with members but effective team work with Ombudsman of other regions of Russia, also she said about necessity of calling civil activists.
Anna Yakovlevna Pastukhova — chairwoman of Yekaterinburg society «Memorial», offered her assistance such as place, office equipment and other opportunities.
In the end of panel discussion coffee-break was organized where participants could continue talking in informal setting.
Generally discussion was successful, everybody praised Aleksey Sokolov’s film. Participants agreed that this film was needed as education thing for operating and future members.
After panel discussion many of participants expressed wish to stand for a post of member of Public Monitoring Committee of Sverdlovsk region.
There is hope that we will be able to make such discussions where people with active civilian attitude gather together to solve many problems more often.
Best regards to future members of Public Monitoring Committee of Sverdlovsk region and other regions.
Human rights defenders.