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State Interests Trump Human Rights, Says Chair of Russia’s Constitutional Court

Dmitry Serebryakov / TASS

Protecting human rights should not create a threat to state sovereignty, undermine “the moral standards of the society” or “disrupt its religious identity,” Valery Zorkin, chief justice of Russia’s Constitutional Court, said Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Law Forum.

Zorkin argued that defending the rights of the majority is equally as important as defending the rights of various minority groups. “Some 2016 events - like Brexit for example - have demonstrated that the concept of defending the rights of the majority, lately ignored by Western societies, is important,” the Constitutional Court's chief justice was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"If the society is unhealthy and immoral, it can’t fully protect human rights,” he said. 

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