Podcast Simon & Sergei – with Anna Sevortian

This week our guest is Anna Sevortian, executive director of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, an NGO based in Berlin. Before joining the Forum, Anna worked as Russia Director at Human Rights Watch and has over 15 years of experience working on civil society and human rights issues. Anna has been a Galina Starovoitova Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, and deputy director of the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights in Moscow. Anna holds a Mid-Career MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and a degree in journalism from Moscow State University. As Forum executive director, Anna is responsible for the overall management and development of the organisation.

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is a network of thematically diverse NGOs from Russia and the European Union, established as a bottom-up, non-partisan civic initiative. The Forum serves as a platform for members to engage in joint activities, articulate common positions, provide support and solidarity, and exert civic influence on policy- and decision-making at the (inter)governmental level. Driven by a vision of ‘the civil society beyond borders’, the Forum brings together organisations and people and therefore contributes to integration between Russia and the EU, based on common values of pluralistic democracy, rule of law, human rights and social justice.

EU-Russia Civil Society Forum was officially launched at a Founding Meeting on 29 March 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic. As of today, the Forum has 183 member and supporter organisations from 19 EU member states, Great Britain and Russia.

This podcast is in Russian.

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

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: Anna Sevortian, our most recent podcast companion, told Simon and I that wherever her fate takes her, she travels with her teapot tetsubin, tevan and tyasyaku – for making tea in the Japanese way. Anna has been a journalist, an expert on Japan, a staff member at ASI (the Agency for Social Information), deputy director at the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights in Moscow, and director of the Russia office of Human Rights Watch, also in Moscow. With forty research and analytical projects are under her belt, she has been a Galina Starovoitova Program Scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC., and is also a graduate of the John F. Kennedy Harvard Institute of Management. Nowadays she is making Japanese tea in her home in Berlin. For six years Anna has been working as executive director of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The work is not easy, but extremely interesting, as was our discussion with her in our latest 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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