14 December 2015
By Sarah Hurst
Sarah Hurst is editor of X Soviet
Reflections on a recent interview with Russian human rights defender Andrei Yurov
Reading the interview with Andrei Yurov that was published by Rights in Russia recently, I felt compelled to add my point of view. I have been following the political and human rights situation in Russia closely for almost three years, since my last visit there in March 2013. Yurov’s assessment is very different from my own.
Yurov says: “It would be a lie to say that Russia is governed by a terrible regime that is destroying its citizens day and night. I won't deny that the situation has deteriorated in many respects, but we also need to acknowledge the improvements. The penitentiary system, for example, has become much more transparent. Today human rights defenders are allowed inside the prison walls, ten years ago that would have been unthinkable! And police violence has diminished in some regions because there is more oversight from civil activists and human rights defenders. The situation is still very difficult, but it is not impossible to do something.”
Let me start by saying that Russia is governed by a terrible regime that is destroying its citizens day and night. Not only its own citizens, but thousands of Ukrainian and Syrian citizens. [Read more]