Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks today that he may pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement today that he may pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is surprising and welcome news. Mr. Khodorkovsky’s decade of political imprisonment has become symbolic of Russia’s culture of corruption, impunity, and injustice under President Putin. It is long past time for Mr. Khodorkovsky to have his freedom back.
“This announcement follows the Russian parliament’s approval of an amnesty law that could clear the way for the early release of hundreds of other political prisoners. These actions are an important step in addressing the demands of the Russian people for better governance and accountability.
“Let us hope that these measures are an indication that the Government of Russia is looking to undertake serious judicial reform. It is unacceptable to intimidate and coerce political opponents through the manipulation of state institutions and the legal system. Justice must be done, but it should be carried out in ways that protect the basic rights of citizens and strengthen the rule of law.”