Rachel Denber: "Russia’s human rights movement is hanging by a thread"

posted 14 Mar 2016, 13:27 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Mar 2016, 13:34 ]
'The Russian government shuttering the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is, indeed, nothing extraordinary these days. It’s merely one of a great number of steps the government has taken in recent years to crack down on the Russian human rights movement and close space for freedom of expression and nongovernmental organizations. Put bluntly, Russia’s human rights movement is hanging by a thread. State and pro-government media often equate criticism of the government with disloyalty or treachery. The government has branded as “foreign agents”—which in Russia means “traitor’ or “spy” – more than 100 nongovernmental groups that advocated for change and had accepted even a kopek of foreign funding. The government has vehemently rejected equality for LGBT people. And it has moved to thwart victims of human rights violations from finding justice through international bodies, when the Russian court system doesn’t deliver it.'

    - Rachel Denber, Deputy Director, Europe and Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

Photo: Human Rights Watch

Source: Rachel Denber, 'Dispatches: Extraordinarily Ordinary in Russia,' Human Rights Watch, 14 March 2016