This week Simon Cosgrove and Sergei Nikitin talk with Galina Arapova (pictured left), director of the Mass Media Defence Centre (Центр защиты прав СМИ), based in the city of Voronezh. The Mass Media Defence Centre is one of the leading NGOs and think tanks working on media law and the rights of journalists, bloggers and media outlets in Russia. For more information about the Mass Media Defence Centre, visit its website here. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here. This podcast is in the Russian language.
Sergei notes [from Facebook}: “It’s always interesting to speak with Russian human rights defenders who live and work outside the capitals. There are not so very many of them, but those there are are wonderful people. The city of Voronezh is one of those cities of over a million inhabitants and well-known by the popular meme ‘Bomb Voronezh’ [meaning ‘do harm to yourself to punish someone else’]. For several decades now the city has been nationally known for its human rights defenders, one of whom is Galina Arapova, director of the Mass Media Defence Centre. Who can help journalists, bloggers and photographers? Where can they get legal assistance? Where can they, and many others, find an organisation with the expertise to protect journalists’ rights and freedom of expression? And not only on the regional or national level, but on the international stage? Who is able to represent the interests of Russia’s professional media community at the European Court of Human Rights, at the Council of :Europe? The Mass Media Defence Centre has been doing all this for many years now and leading the Centre is the tireless, supremely capable, successful, smiling and serious Galina Arapova, with whom Simon Cosgrove and I spoke on Sunday evening. You only have to listen.”