Yulia Gorbunova: 'As long as the Kremlin continues to demonize and marginalize critical voices, attacks like these will continue' [on the attack on an exhibition at the Sakharov Centre]

posted 8 Oct 2016, 03:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Oct 2016, 03:27 ]
'Just hours after it had opened, a man vandalized a photography exhibition in Moscow last week. He sprayed several photographs, of Ukrainian soldiers fighting in eastern Ukraine, with red paint, shouting that they had killed women and children. The photos were among many images on a wide variety of themes, from orphans in Russia to street crime in Honduras. The exhibit is at the Sakharov Centre, a wonderful venue in Moscow that hosts exhibitions, lectures, and discussions about human rights and social issues that the mainstream media largely avoids. It is one of the few remaining places in Moscow where thinkers, activists, and the public can debate controversial topics – because in today’s Russia such discourse is risky.[...] While such violent events are both frightening and dangerous, so are the vicious smear campaigns against human rights activists and government critics that have been growing steadily since the Kremlin launched its anti “foreign agents” campaign” in 2012. As long as the Kremlin continues to demonize and marginalize critical voices, attacks like these will continue and, in turn, lead to ever more violence.'

- Yulia Gorbunova, researcher, Human Rights Watch


Source:
Yulia Gorbunova, '"Rebels", Red Paint, And Russia: Sakharov Centre in Moscow Vandalised Amid Crackdown on Dissent,' Human Rights Watch, 3 October 2016
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