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Rights Group of the Week: Committee for the Prevention of Torture

posted 3 Jul 2017, 09:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Jul 2017, 10:37 ]
On 27 June 2017 representatives of three Italian human rights organisations - Antigone, Arcigay and A Buon Diritto - that were visiting the offices of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Nizhny Novgorod were detained by police and each fined 2,000 roubles for allegedly violating migration rules before being released. The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum reported that representatives of its member organization, Antigone (based in Rome, Italy) were fined for violating migration rules in Russia. The Italian activists were accompanied in their visits by Irina Protasova, chair of the Yoshkar-Ola based NGO, Individual and the Law [Chelovek i zakon], which is also a member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and a project partner of Antigone. 

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum quotes Irina Protasov as saying that the Italian human rights activists were held in a police station in Nizhny Novgorod for about six hours: "During this time, the migration service representatives completed five reports on administrative offence. Each of the Antigone members that visited Nizhny Novgorod was fined 2,000 RUB (about 35 euros). After leaving the police department, the Italian activists went back to Yoshkar-Ola." 

Antigone is an NGO based in Rome that specializes in improving prison conditions. Arcigay is a LGBT rights organization with headquarters in Bologna. A Buon Diritto is a civil liberties association based in Rome.

Photo of police questioning Italian activists at the offices of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture: Antigone

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture is a high profile Russian human rights NGO based in Nizhny Novgorod. The organization also has offices in the Republic of Mari El, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Orenburg region, and Moscow and Moscow region. Since 2009 it has been a leading participant in the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders that works in Chechnya. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture, set up in 2015, continues the work of the Committee Against Torture, which was founded in 2000 and closed down in 2015 after it was designated as a 'foreign agent' NGO. Rights in Russia has regularly reported on the outstanding work of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, for example see here.

'Italian Activists Arrested in Nizhny Novgorod Fined,' EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, 28 June 2017
'La nostra missione interrotta: un avvertimento di Putin alle Ong dei diritti umani,' Antigone, 30 June 2017
'Fermati e rilasciati in Russia attivisti di Antigone, A Buon Diritto e Arcigay. Si sta lavorando al rilascio con le autorità italiane,' Antigone, 30 June 2017
A Buon Diritto, website
Antigone, website
Arcigay, website
Committee for the Prevention of Torture, website
Individual and the Law [Chelovek i zakon], website
EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, website
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