Rights in Russia interview – with Vanessa Kogan, executive director of Stichting Justice Initiative

Mary Page talks with Vanessa Kogan, since 2009 executive director of Stichting Justice Initiative (SJI), a strategic litigation non-governmental organization (NGO) which provides representation at the European Court of Human Rights for victims of human rights violations in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Over the years, the project’s lawyers have provided legal assistance to thousands of people and the Initiative is one of the leading organisations in Russia litigating enforced disappearances, torture and gender-based violence at the European Court, winning over 250 cases. On 2 December 2020, Russian migration authorities annulled Vanessa Kogan’s residence permit and she was subsequently forced to leave the country. Prior to joining SJI, Vanessa worked in the Legal Office of Human Rights Watch in New York, as a junior researcher with the Human Rights League in Paris and as a fellow at a refugee rights organization in southern France. She studied literature and law in the US and the UK. The video can be seen in full on YouTube or below.

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