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The Council of Europe expelled Russia. That hurts people, not Putin.

On March 16, the Council of Europe – Europe's largest intergovernmental organization – expelled Russia for abuses in Ukraine.

The Council, set up after World War II to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe, deemed Russia's invasion incompatible with membership in the organization.

Russia, a member since 1996, had announced one day earlier, on March 15, that it would leave. The decision would have taken effect at the end of the year, on December 31. Apparently trying to beat Russia to the punch, the Council kicked Russia out.

But, as IJL fellow Zoha Siddiqui and Prof. Zvobgo writer in their explainer for The Washington Post, the decision, intended to isolate Putin, hurts ordinary Ukrainians and Russians.

Since Russia is no longer a member of the Council, it will no longer be subject to the European Court of Human Rights, effective September 16. The bottom line is neither Ukrainians or Russians can challenge Putin's government for human rights violations committed after this date. That's three months of jurisdiction and three months of possible accountability lost. Considering the devastation of just these past several weeks, the loss is significant.

Read the article to learn more.


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