Putin nominates Kremlin critic as ombudsman

Jan. 23, 2014 at 9:41 AM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The Russian government said Thursday an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, Ella Pamfilova, was nominated as the next ombudsman.

Outgoing ombudsman Vladimir Lukin endorsed the former director of the Kremlin's human rights council two days after President Vladimir Putin nominated her for the position, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

Pamfilova resigned in 2010 as director of the rights council after complaining it had little influence over Kremlin policies. The 60-year-old had no comment on the announcement.

The Kremlin's ombudsman has a legacy of being critical of the government and Pamfilova's nomination follows a string of reports critical of Putin's human rights policies.

A report from Human Rights Watch this week said Putin was using his position of office to silence critics.

Putin was accused of pandering to the international community late last year when he extended amnesty to members of the outspoken punk rock band Pussy Riot.

Lukin's tenure ends in February. The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, must approve her nomination before March.

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