Women in Black, strongly condemn the initiative of the University of Belgrade that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin take honorary doctorate from this university. We request the authorities to clearly answer following questions:
1. Who, and in whose name launched this shameful initiative?
2. How exactly Vladimir Putin earned an honorary doctorate from the state university?
3. Do you mean that autonomy of the university implies irresponsibility for the promotion of values that are opposite the culture of respect of human rights?
4. How come the university didn’t run for the honorary doctorate some of the Putin's numerous victims, people who spent their whole lives in devoted struggle for human rights?
Putin is known as a dictator who spent whole presidential and Prime Minister Mandate suppressing freedom and human rights in Russia. During his second presidential mandate, Putin began the second Chechen war, constantly killing civilians under the excuse of fighting against terrorism. Putin is also responsible for the deaths of many woman and man who harshly critiqued his regime at the time. We are reminding at all unsolved assassinations in the time of his presidency, for which no one took responsibility so far, the death of: Ana Politikovskaja, Natasha Estemirova, Zarema Sadulayeva, Alik Džabrailov, Stanislav Markelov, Anastasia Babur, and Alexander Litvinenko...
Putin is also well known for its brutal methods of dealing with the political opponents - citizens of Russia, male and female, and as a supporter of Russian racist, clerical fascist and clerical nationalistic organizations.
Women in Black will continue, along with all human rights defenders, who act jointly within international networks, to demand accountability of Vladimir Putin for crimes committed during his mandate.