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Try as it may, Russia can’t wipe out historical memory or force people to stop working to protect their rights.

In two days, Russian courts have delivered a one-two punch to Russia’s human rights movement. Just a few days after the 30-year anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, courts ruled to close Memorial, Russia’s top human rights group. …
Directional sign "'Memorial' museum, archive, library," Moscow.
News

Russia’s government cannot wipe out historic memory and people’s aspirations for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law

Last week, Russian authorities made clear their intentions to shut down Memorial, the country’s most authoritative human rights organization, and one of its oldest. Memorial defends human rights, works to commemorate victims of Soviet…
201810europe_russia_commemoration_3
News
“This place guarantees you lose your sanity, your dignity, your humanity one way or another…It’s exhausting trying to protect myself all day, all night. I can’t do it anymore."  Kimberly Polman, a 49-year-old Canadian woman, wrote these words in…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
News
Thursday night, thugs invaded the offices of Memorial, a leading Russian rights group, and although police eventually arrived, instead of helping them, they harassed the activists and refused to let them leave the building until late in the night. Here’s…
Intruders disrupting film screening at Memorial and yelling “get out of here” and “fascists. Moscow, October 14, 2021.
News
Foreign Minister Marc Garneau will visit Israel and the West Bank this week in an effort to advance “the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region and a two-state solution.” Jetting to the Middle East to champion a languishing…
A boy runs alongside a tall concrete wall
News
“I felt like the world was ending for me,” an asylum seeker told us, describing her experience in immigration detention after fleeing her home country in Africa. “I thought, ‘Maybe I should have stayed back home and died there.’” She is only one of…
Image in shades of red with a fence in front of seated people.
News

While most eyes were on Geneva, the Duma intensified its crackdown on dissent.

At his post-summit news conference on Wednesday President Putin defended Russia’s repressive laws that punish dissent.  With most eyes on Geneva, the Duma made one of those laws a lot harsher. It amended the criminal code to open the…
Anastasia Shevchenko and Mikhail Iosilevich. Both have been prosecuted under Russia’s law on “undesirable” foreign organizations. 
News
April was a terrible month for freedom of expression in Russia. In early April, the authorities struck at Roman Anin, editor-in-chief of iStories (Important Stories), a new outlet specializing in investigative journalism. The Russian Federal…
Editors of the student magazine DOXA Natalya Tyshkevich, left, and Alla Gutnikova wait at the Basmanny District Court, in Moscow, Russia.
News
Last summer, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny narrowly survived an assassination attempt, widely believed to have been organized by Russia's security services, through a Novichok nerve-agent poisoning. Now, without concerted action,…
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is pictured in the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, February 2, 2021.
News
The Kremlin undoubtedly hopes that by packing Alexei Navalny off to prison, it will keep him out of sight, out of mind. Yet Navalny’s many social-media-savvy followers make that unlikely. A growing movement of people discontented with corruption,…
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny takes part in a march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020.
News
In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News

Borrell Should Raise Navalny’s Arrest, Crackdown on Dissent and Independent Groups

It’s an understatement to say that Josep Borrell’s first visit to Russia in his capacity as the European Union’s foreign affairs chief is a major event. The EU’s relations with Russia hit a new low in January following the politically motivated…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, next to now-High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell after a meeting at the foreign ministry in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. 
News

Foreign Minister Should Raise Issue of Attacks on Civil Society

Foreign Minister Ann Linde’s trip to Moscow this week, the first one during Sweden’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comes as Russia is in the midst of a severe human rights crisis. Last month’s arrest…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, meets with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde in Moscow, February 2, 2021.
News

A Story of Two Lawyers Highlights a Bigger Problem with Russia’s Justice System

Attacks, detention and prosecution of lawyers - including while performing their professional duties - is not unusual in Russia, but what happened ahead of the January 23 protests  takes this harassment to a new level. I spoke with two lawyers…
Mikhail Benyash and Mansur Gilmanov
News
President-elect Biden’s pledge to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States — and ensure that it finally does its part to tackle the climate crisis — is welcome news. So, too, is his promise to return the country to the Paris…
Weenusk First Nation member, Mike Wabano, sets up camp for caribou hunting on a frozen river near Peawanuck, December 14, 2019. As a result of warming temperatures, ice and snow cover is often thinner and more unstable.