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Irwin Cotler, MP

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Statement by Irwin Cotler on Russian Travel Ban

Posted on March 24, 2014

“I wear my exclusion from Russia as a badge of honour and am proud to be in such distinguished company.

I have no intention of visiting Siberia. I have no investments in Sochi. I have no desire to visit Moscow and be poisoned as happened on my last trip.

Indeed, I was  first expelled from the Soviet Union and then banned in 1979 while advocating on behalf of political prisoners including Natan Sharansky. I was arrested and accused of consorting with “criminals,” among them the great Soviet human rights dissident, Andrei Sakharov. These acts did not stop my human rights advocacy. Indeed, today’s announcement only inspires me to redouble my efforts to advance the cause of human rights for all.

I stand in solidarity with the Russian people and those fighting for human rights and democracy. Their day will come and Putin will be no more.”

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