Amnesty International condemns Russian human rights record
Amnesty International notes the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia
Rights and freedoms are limited by law and practice, says human rights organization
The human rights situation in Russia continues to deteriorate, Amnesty International said in a report. Human rights defenders note that the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly are continually restricted by law and practice.
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Youth, women and eco-activists: in Russia people have a desire to protest and defend their rights
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A human rights organization points out that people who are trying to exercise their rights, «are subjected to reprisals ranging from insults to police brutality, arbitrary arrests, heavy fines and, in some cases, criminal prosecution and imprisonment».
Human rights defenders and NGOs have become targets for attacks under laws on «foreign agents» and «undesirable organizations», noted in the report.
Hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been persecuted for their faith. Other vulnerable minorities also face discrimination and harassment. Anti-terrorism provisions were widely used to combat dissidents throughout the country and in Crimea.
«Torture continues to be widespread, and its perpetrators remain unpunished. Violence against women remains widespread and overlooked», – writes Amnesty International.
The growing disunity between the authorities and the general public is leading to an increase in street protests, including political ones. But they are also often caused by local socioeconomic or environmental issues such as waste management, the report notes..
In response, the authorities often refuse permission to hold public events, disperse peaceful assemblies, and prosecute organizers and participants in administrative and criminal procedures..
In July-August last year, more than 2,600 people were arrested during protests in Moscow, which were peaceful in nature, until the police and the National Guard intervened with the use of force, the document says..
Three peaceful demonstrators, Vyacheslav Yegorov, Andrei Borovikov and Konstantin Kotov, were persecuted. Kotov was sentenced to four years in prison, Borovikov – by 400 hours of compulsory work, and Egorov is still awaiting trial at the end of the year.
«Impunity for previous violence against human rights defenders prevails», – Amnesty International claims.
Ten years after the abduction and murder of Natalia Estemirova – a prominent member of a non-governmental organization «Memorial» in Grozny – criminals have not yet been brought to justice.
The Ministry of Justice opened administrative cases against some organizations, accusing them of violating the law on «foreign agents».
«The right to freedom of expression is increasingly restricted in law and practice, including through additional restrictions on the Internet and new repression of dissent on the Web», – noted in the report.
By December last year, more than 20 people have been recognized «violators» of the law and fined, mainly for criticizing the president. In February, authorities opened a criminal case against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva from Pskov on charges of justifying terrorism in connection with her article criticizing the authorities published in October 2018. Police in Moscow set up investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, accusing him of distributing drugs.
«Discrimination and harassment of LGBTI people remain pervasive, with homophobic "anti-gay propaganda law" has been used repeatedly to suppress freedom of expression», – points out Amnesty International.
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