Weekly Update week-ending 15 May 2020

Read our selection of the past week’s news: Rights in Russia week-ending 15 May 2020. We also highlight a Person of the Week and a Legal Case of the Week.

Listen to our latest Russian-language podcast; our guest this week is Maria Kanevskaya, a St. Petersburg lawyer specialising in right of association who currently heads the First NGO Laboratory and for many years has led and worked with groups seeking to improve the regulatory environment for civil society groups in Russia: Simon & Sergei: Human rights in Russia – with Maria Kanevskaya– You can find these podcasts on Podcasts.comSoundCloudiTunes and Spotify.

“Dear friends, thank you all for participating in our marathon event, for your support, congratulatory messages and kind words!”– Moscow Helsinki Group celebrates its 44th anniversary. Translated by Suzanne Eade Roberts
“On 12 May 2020 the Moscow Helsinki Group celebrated its 44th anniversary. The celebration was an online event because of the Coronavirus.”   – Rights in Russia congratulates the Moscow Helsinki Group on its 44th anniversary. 

“On 16 May 1990, the First Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR opened. […] At the Congress, […] a new democratic state was born. And this happened not by means of a violent overthrow but as a result of the victory of democracy’s supporters in the elections.” – Lev Ponomarev looks back at events that shook the world 30 years ago. Translated by Marian Schwartz and John Tokolish

“Memorial Human Rights Centre calls for the immediate release of Bessarabov and Dudka.”-  Memorial Human Rights Centre considers Aleksei Bessarabov and Vladimir Dudka political prisoners. Translated by Simon Cosgrove

“The police in Moscow broke up several rallies held in honour of Victory Day: no less than 17 people were detained in three different locations around the city.”  – OVD-Info’s latest Weekly Update includes information about the police action to prevent unauthorised public events on Victory Day. Translated by Judith Fagelson

“This publication is dedicated to one of the many victims of the FSB, Ivan Liubshin. On 5 March he was sentenced to five years and two months in a prison colony.”– Lev Ponomarev considers the case of Ivan Liubshin. Translated by Mercedes MalcomsonMark NuckolsAnna Bowles and Graham Jones

“Military personnel are from now on forbidden either to share information about their own service and that of their colleagues on the Internet, or to convey such information to the media.”    – Media rights lawyer Galina Arapova looks at one of the most recent presidential decrees. Translated by Elizabeth Teague 

“The complaints coming in really show that self-isolation has intensified domestic violence.” – Valery Borshchev on the current increase in levels of domestic violence. Translated by Verity Hemp

“They have me in their sights.  They are preparing to bring a criminal case under the new Article 207.1 about fake news because of my interview […].”  – Tatyana Voltskaya on the case currently being brought against her.  Translated by John Tokolish

“Huge thanks to everyone who responded, supported, helped, smiled, and waved — it is unbelievably important. Including for continuing to speak the truth in spite of the risks. Because the risks for society being left without truthful information are much more serious.”  – Tatyana Voltskaya stresses the importance of public support for her stance. Translated by John Tokolish

Book Reviews

About 15 of these 66 people were more or less voluntary employees of the Soviet penal system, and I found their testimonies of particular interest. It has to be said that none of the Gulag employees expresses much regret for having worked in the ‘system’.”– Martin Dewhirst reviews an anthology of reminiscences by people who lived and worked in the Gulag and survived into their eighties.

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