Hillary Clinton and Obama adviser Michael McFaul may have made it seem as though the United States had become less interested in supporting democracy and human-rights advocates in Russia, but today United Nations experts made their views about these issues crystal clear and addressed the blatant abuses that have taken place in the country in recent years. During the meeting, U.N. experts “grilled” Russian officials on the murders of journalists and human-rights activists, according to Reuters, and one of the U.N. experts spoke about human-rights advocate and journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed three years ago. "People who are either journalists or human-rights activists seem to have a very high mortality rate," said the U.N. expert.
Before her death, Politkovskaya worked to increase international awareness of human-rights abuses in Russia, helping reduce prison sentences of individuals who were being unfairly persecuted. The U.N. experts have done a great deal to continue her work today. And despite the gaffes, Clinton’s visit also had a positive effect: Russians and Americans were talking openly about the murders of journalists, the imprisonment of scholars, and the discrimination against gays -- and that's a step in the right direction.