This week our guest is Viktor Valentinovich Kogan-Yasny. Viktor Valentinovich is a commentator on public affairs, writer and philosopher. Since 1989 he has been actively involved in public life. He began as an activist of Moscow Tribune and Memorial and in 1990-91 he worked with the Voters’ Club of the Academy of Sciences and the Interregional Group of Deputies of the First Congress of Soviet People’s Deputies. He was an aide to the chair of the Human Rights Committee of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. Since 1992, he has been chair of the board of the Society against the Death Penalty and Torture, which has now become the NGO, Regional Civic Initiative – Right to Life and Civil Dignity. Viktor Valentinovich is one of the founders of Memorial Human Rights Centre and a member of its board. Since 1995, he has been an advisor both to the Yabloko party and to Grigory Yavlinsky.
Among the topics we discuss in the podcast are the death penalty in Russia, the history of Amnesty International in Russia, links between political developments and human rights, the recent apparent poisoning of Aleksei Navalny and events in Khabarovsk and Belarus.
This podcast is in the Russian language.
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The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.
Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: Viktor Valentinovich Kogan-Yasny is the latest guest of our podcast and Simon Cosgrove and I spent a very interesting and enjoyable hour with him. I was especially interested to hear his story about how he found premises for Amnesty International in Moscow. In 1991 Marjorie Farquharson, the first representative in Russia of the oldest human rights organization, opened an office for the organisation on Herzen Street with Viktor’s help. The phone number that was allocated to the Amnesty office has remained unchanged for almost 30 years. Viktor may not be very well known to the general public, but he is a very interesting interlocutor. In 1990-91 Viktor Kogan-Yasny was an assistant chair of the Human Rights Committee of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. It was he who founded the Society against the Death Penalty and Torture, where in 1992 he became chair of the board. I always read with great interest the posts of Viktor Kogan-Yasny, one of the senior members of the Yabloko Party, writer and philosopher.
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.