This week our guest on the podcast is the well-known journalist Vera Sergeevna Vasilieva. The topics we discuss on the podcast include: human rights journalism in Russia, political prisoners, the ‘foreign agent’ law, Radio Liberty, Aleksei Pichugin, Aleksei Navalny, other landmark court cases, recent amendments to the Russian constitution, crisis in Russia, atmosphere of hate, historical trends regarding human rights, the Russian judicial system, what the future may hold, and books by Vera Vasilieva.
The podcast is in Russian. You can listen to it in full here:
Given the length of the podcast, we have also divided it into three parts that you can listen to separately.
Part One. Political prisoners; the ‘foreign agent’ law; Radio Svoboda; the case of Aleksei Pichugin:
Part Two. The case of Aleksei Navalny; other landmark legal cases; crisis in Russia; atmosphere of hate:
Part Three. Human rights journalism; the ‘foreign agent’ law; amendments to the constitution; historical trends regarding human rights; the Russian judicial system; the future; books by Vera Vasilieva:
The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.
Sergei Nikitin writes: “The situation for journalists writing on human rights issues has become very complicated,” Vera Vasilieva told us. “Many of those websites and portals I used to collaborate with have been closed down and blocked. The field of activity is narrowing, there is no doubt about it.” She also told us how her career in human rights journalism began: “Many years ago I used to work for a popular science computer magazine and back in 2003, when the Yukos affair was just beginning, I wanted to form my own opinion about Alexei Pichugin. The first trial in his case was held behind closed doors, and the second trial on 4 April 2006 left me dumbfounded: the charges proved to be unsubstantiated.” It was then that Vera decided she would go regularly to observe such trials. And she also started to write for online human rights websites. Last Sunday, Simon Cosgrove and I talked to Vera about what she is working on now, what she is interested in, and what concerns her.
Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.