Andrei Babushkin, head of the Committee for Civil Rights, chairman of the Commission for the Development of the Penitentiary System of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, died in Moscow at the age of 59. This was reported HRC member Eva Merkacheva and press office party “Yabloko”.
“Tonight, a great ascetic, a true human rights activist Andrei Babushkin, left us. He, perhaps, did everything possible for prisoners and not only. He helped everyone, absolutely. He loved everyone, pitied everyone. He gave his heart and his whole self to people. Bright memory!”, – wrote Merkachev on Facebook.
The day before, the human rights activist was hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the 20th Moscow hospital in the Babushkinsky district in the north of the city. He got there with an exacerbation of a long-standing disease, told Merkachev newspaper “Kommersant”.
“He was pumped out, but the doctors said it was vital to lead a healthy lifestyle, and he just exhausted himself,” she said.
Andrei Babushkin dealt with issues related to the rights of prisoners and minors.
In 1990, he was elected to the Moscow City Council and headed the commission on crime prevention and the work of special institutions.
Babushkin advocated a law on public control over pre-trial detention centers, participated in the development of amnesty projects (including in 2000 and 2013), amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation of December 2003 (including the reduction of the minimum term for minors).
In 2010-2011, Babushkin was a member of the working group of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the development of the law “On Police” and achieved the inclusion of the right to a telephone conversation after arrest and the obligation of police officers to introduce themselves to a citizen upon request.
The human rights activist was one of the founders and chairman of the “Committee for Civil Rights”. In 2012, he was included in the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation.
In addition, Babushkin spoke in support of the defendants in the Network case, and also called for an investigation into torture and spoke about violations by the security forces. As noted in Yabloko, the human rights activist secured the release of “many innocent people”, organized campaigns to protect public gardens and river floodplains in the North-East Administrative District, and led an orphan assistance service.