Podcast No. 45: Simon & Sergei – with Svetlana Gannushkina
Svetlana Gannushkina Right Livelihood Award 2016 Stockholm 11 / 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

This week our guest is Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina, human rights defender, chair of the Civic Assistance Committee, a member of the board and director of the Migration and Law Network of the Memorial Human Rights Centre. Until June 2012 (from 2002) Svetlana Alekseevna was a member of the Presidential Human Rights Council.

The issues we discuss in our podcast include: when and why Svetlana Alekseevna took up human rights work; about the work of the Civic Assistance Committee and the Migration and Law Network; the policy of the Russian authorities towards asylum seekers and how this can be compared with that of other countries; the law “on foreign agents”; the experience of working on the Presidential Human Rights Council; the difference between human rights protection and politics; and the future of human rights in the Russian Federation.

This podcast is in the Russian language. You can listen to it here:

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

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

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: “I remember 18 years ago when Svetlana Alekseevna, standing next to me in Spaso-House and watching George W. Bush Jr. approach us inexorably, told me she wanted to avoid a handshake with the US President. It was probably not a dislike, but a natural modesty that perfectly matched the courage and bravery of Gannushkina, this wonderful human rights activist. Last Saturday Simon Cosgrove and I talked to Svetlana Alekseevna and she remembered how a sense of personal dignity made her a human rights activist back in her school years. “All my 10th grade I dedicated myself to fighting with the school director,” she remembered. Already after graduating from school, having bought a copy of the Labour Code of the RSFSR, Svetlana Gannushkina was able to defend her friend, who had been illegally dismissed from the Historical and Archival Institute – the girl was restored to her job. This was just the beginning of human rights activities for Svetlana Gannushkina, chair of the Civic Assistance Committee, a member of the board and head of the Migration and Law Network of Memorial Human Rights Centre. We had a very interesting conversation and it is available in our new podcast.”

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

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