Podcast No. 69: Simon & Sergei – with Olga Sadovskaya

This week our guest on the podcast is Olga Sadovskaya from the Nizhny Novgorod-based human rights organisation Committee against Torture. Olga Sadovskaya is head of the organisation’s international protection department. Established in 2000, the Committee against Torture continues to be one of the leading human rights organisations in Russia working to prevent torture in police custody.

The questions discussed in the podcast include: the latest developments at the Committee against Torture; court cases before the Russian courts and the ECtHR; legislative changes affecting its work; cities where the Committee against Torture operates; the situation in Chechnya; risks doing human rights work in Russia; public support; ombudsmen and public oversight commissions; the future of human rights.

The podcast is in Russian. You can listen to the podcast in full here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  and  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Given the length of the podcast, we have also divided it into three parts that you can listen to separately.

Part One. Latest developments at the Committee against Torture – definition of torture – new cases:

Part Two. Legislation – ‘Foreign agent’ law – Law on ‘undesirable foreign organisations’ – the case of Mikhail Iosilevich – the Regions – Chehnya – the case of Magomed Gadaev – the case of Salman Tepsurkaev – the Mobile Group – the Chechenisation of Russia:

Part Three. Risks faced by human rights defenders – Public support for human rights – Public Oversight Commissions – Human Rights Ombudsmen – ‘Foreign Agent’ law – the Future:

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: ‘Inquisitor 286 is a new computer game developed by the Committee against Torture, and the number 286 is clearly not random. Everyone knows Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code does not contain the word torture, and Russia does not adhere to the definition set forth in the UN Convention. It should.The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment defines torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering is intentionally inflicted on a person when such pain or suffering is inflicted by a public official. We are well aware how the authorities twist and turn and – as a rule – cover up for these very officials. Olga Sadovskaya in our recent conversation reminded Simon Cosgrove and me of the many tragic stories in which the “heroes” – the so-called siloviki – have gone into hiding or disappeared. But it is encouraging to know that organisations like the Committee against Torture and many other Russian human rights defenders are tirelessly fighting torture and ensuring that the villains are brought to justice. And that this is not a game at all.

You can hear Sergei talk the situation concerning Aleksei Navalny and the recent protests, summarizing a recent interview he gave to the BBC, here:

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.

Leave a Reply