Events

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An event at Pushkin House (London): Fighting for Human Dignity - Nikolai and Tatyana Shchur on conditions in Russian prisons

posted 5 May 2018, 09:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 5 May 2018, 09:59 ]

When: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 7:30 PM 9:00 PM
Where: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2TA
Tickets: From Pushkin House website
In Russian with English translation
For more information, see Pushkin House website

Nikolay Shchur’s book, published in 2017, is called “FSIN Empire” (FSIN is the Federal Service for the Implementation of Punishments), with the subtitle “A Short Guide to Russian Prisons”. In 1994, when Nikolay was chairman of the Snezhinsk Ecological Foundation, he was arrested and held in a pre-trial detention centre for six months on trumped--up charges for trying to draw attention to the pollution caused by the military near Chelyabinsk. Since then he and his wife, Tatyana, in addition to their activities as ecologists, have become experts on Russian prisons – they both became members of Public Monitoring Commissions (ОNK) as soon as they were formed in Russia, so they really know the Russian Penal Service inside out. This is a joint event of the Pushkin Club and Rights in Russia.


Nikolai Shchur
In 1993 Nikolai organized the first ecological organization in the “closed” town of Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region, and tried to draw public attention to the radioactive contamination of the area. This was the reason for his arrest on trumped-up charges and 6 months in custody in a pre-trial detention centre. After his release, he carried on with his civic activities. He was behind the first human rights NGOs in the Chelyabinsk region, published a newspaper, investigated contaminated areas and defended human rights violated by the authorities. Currently he is the head of 4 NGOs, which he set up together with his wife, Tatyana Shchur. He has written several books and manuals on defending human rights. Between 2010 and 2016 he was a member of the Public Monitoring Commission. He is a member of the Panel of Experts of the Association of independent observers of Russian prisons and the police. Nikolai Shchur received “Time” magazine's “Hero” award for 2005. In 2013 he won the national “Civic initiative” award.

Tatyana Shchur
In 1994, after the arrest of her husband, who was prosecuted for his civic activities, she started a campaign for his release. In 1996 she became the Head of the first human rights NGO in the “closed” town of Snezhinsk. Since 2004, she’s been heading the “Women of Eurasia” NGO; she is also involved in protecting the rights of orphans. Between 2010 and 2016 she was a member of the Public Monitoring Commission in Chelyabinsk. Tatyana is a member of the Panel of Experts of the Association of independent observers of Russian prisons and the police. Tatyana Shchur received “Time” magazine's “Hero” award for 2005. In 2013 she won the national “Civic initiative” award.

Russia without Historical Memory: An Evening with Irina Flige [10 April 2018, 19:30-21:00, at Pushkin House, London]

posted 8 Apr 2018, 08:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Apr 2018, 09:07 ]

When: Tuesday, 10 April 2018 at 7:30 PM - 9 PM

Where: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2TA London, United Kingdom

Tickets: available via: Pushkin House

Hosts: Pushkin Club and Rights in Russia

For more information: Facebook

Irina Flige is a historian and Director of the Research and Information Centre “Memorial” in St Petersburg. For the last 30 years, “Memorial” has researched the history of state terror and repression in the Soviet Union. In 2012, the RIC "Memorial" won the Freedom of Expression award, awarded by the Index on Censorship.

The Centre collects witness records, memorialises the Gulag, documents mass burial sites, runs educational initiatives and, ever more important in recent years, makes its comprehensive archive accessible in electronic form.

Civil society in Russia today is under unprecedented pressure and protest has once again become a dangerous activity. The authorities are systematically persecuting their opponents, using arbitrarily applied and controversial legislation. NGOs that receive grants from abroad run the risk of being vilified as “foreign agents”, and the right to freedom of assembly is curtailed .

Flige will be talking about her experience of running "Memorial" in St Petersburg, and outline their activities, the difficulties they face, and their successes.

In Russian with English translation. This is joint event of Pushkin Club and Rights in Russia and all are welcome.

The Dmitriev Affair - a Rights in Russia event to be held at Pushkin House on 19th December 2017 at 19:30

posted 5 Dec 2017, 05:05 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 5 Dec 2017, 05:17 ]



Photo by Simeon Maisterman
Event: The Dmitriev Affair

Where: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2TA

When: Tuesday, December 19, 2017, at 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM

Tickets: Full price: £7; FOPH, Students, Senior: £5

To book tickets in advance, visit the website of Pushkin House


EHRAC seeking PR and fundraising experts for Advisory Board

posted 23 Oct 2017, 06:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Oct 2017, 06:35 ]


The European Human Rights Advocacy Centre is inviting applications for two experts to join our UK-based Advisory Board on a voluntary basis. We are specifically seeking Board members with extensive experience in PR and/or Fundraising. The closing date for applications is 19 November 2017.

For more information, please go to the website of the EHRAC

Article 19: Consultancy opportunity

posted 16 Oct 2017, 06:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Oct 2017, 07:07 ]




ARTICLE 19 is seeking a consultant to conduct a full evaluation of a two year project, “Promoting and Defending the Right to Information in Russia,” funded by the European Union’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) programme. 

For more information, see the website of Article 19


Deadline for applications is Wednesday 25 October 2017

Natalya Taubina speaks at UCL on "Shrinking space for civil society in Russia: Challenges and new strategies"

posted 8 May 2017, 10:20 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 May 2017, 10:22 ]

9 May 2017, 06:15 PM - 07:30 PM

Location: Roberts Building G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT, Torrington Place, WC1E 7JE, London


Natalya Taubina is director of the Moscow-based NGO, Public Verdict Foundation

The event is open to all, but to avoid disappointment, please Register.

In the past few years, the Russian Federation has adopted a number of laws significantly restricting fundamental rights and freedoms. Some of these new laws undermine the guarantees of the right to freedom of association—in particular, by introducing concepts such as ‘non-profit organisations performing the functions of a foreign agent’ and ‘undesirable international and foreign non-governmental organisations’. Being branded a ‘foreign agent’ or ‘undesirable organisation’ leads to substantial restrictions or, in certain cases, a total ban on activities, heavy fines, and potential criminal charges. Russian civil society organisations are in a constant struggle for the right to freely operate and continue their important work in the interest of Russian society. Faced with state restrictions, they are elaborating new strategies to ensure the sustainability of their activities. 

About the speaker: Ms. Taubina has been working in the field of human rights since 1992. From the very beginning, she was involved in the work of the Russian Research Center for Human Rights. From 1997 to 2011, she was a director of the Foundation for Civil Society, and since 2004 she has been the director of the Public Verdict Foundation. Her expertise is international human rights standards and mechanisms, human rights in the work of law enforcement bodies, development of civil society organizations, NGO management, and evaluation. Ms. Taubina has been participating in the development and conduct of dozens of research projects and publications on a wide range of human rights issues and on different aspects of NGO activities. She has been invited as an expert by different charitable foundations (Eurasia Foundation, International Fellowship Program of the Ford Foundation, Fulcrum Foundation, Charities Aid Foundation) for elaborating and carrying out analytical surveys, evaluations, and research projects. Ms. Taubina was a member of the Expert Council under the Ombudsman in the Russian Federation in 2004-2016. In 2013, she became a recipient of the Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award. Ms. Taubina is laureate of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. In 1993 she graduated from Faculty of Cybernetics of the Moscow Physics-Engineering Institute. [Read more]

Anastasia Zotova speaks on human rights in Russia [videos]

posted 24 Apr 2017, 09:41 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Apr 2017, 09:43 ]

Pushkin Club
, Rights in Russia and Index on Censorship held a joint event at Pushkin House on the evening of Thursday 20 April. This was an
 opportunity to meet someone whose name has been constantly in the news since her husband, Ildar Dadin, was arrested under a new law criminalizing repeated violations of Russia's stringent regulations on public assembly. Ildar Dadin was awarded the 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards in the campaigning section. He is reportedly currently unable to leave Russia. 

Videos of the parts of the event where can be viewed HERE and HERE.

A journalist and human rights defender covering Dadin’s courageous one-man pickets against human rights violations under the Putin regime and the war in Ukraine, Anastasia Zotova married Ildar Dadin in late 2015 after he had already been arrested. She continued to publicise his plight after his imprisonment in a penal colony in Karelia, where he was tortured, and during his subsequent transfer to another prison camp in southern Siberia. Husband and wife have done more than anyone, arguably, to expose conditions in Russia’s large and brutal penitentiary system which today holds dozens more political prisoners. She has been the inspiration behind the website Territory of Torture

The 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards, for which Ildar Dadin was been shortlisted, took place at London’s Unicorn Theatre on Wednesday 19 April 2017. During the week, Anastasia Zotova also spoke at a joint event held by Index on Censorship and Doughty Street Chambers on 19 April.

In Conversation with human rights activist Anastasia Zotova

posted 17 Apr 2017, 06:09 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Apr 2017, 00:17 ]

Date: Thursday, 20th April 2017

Time: At 7:30 PM - 9 PM

Location: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2TA London, United Kingdom

Admission: The event is free, but booking is necessary. Please email us to confirm your attendance at office@pushkinhouse.org.uk

Tickets: Can be obtained via the Pushkin House website Tickets Available

Pushkin Club, Rights in Russia and Index on Censorship are proud to invite you to this evening in conversation with Anastasia Zotova.

An opportunity to meet someone whose name has been constantly in the news since her husband, Ildar Dadin, was arrested under a new law criminalizing repeated violations of Russia's stringent regulations on public assembly. Ildar Dadin is a finalist of the 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards, but is reportedly currently unable to leave Russia. 

A journalist and human rights defender covering Dadin’s courageous one-man pickets against human rights violations under the Putin regime and the war in Ukraine, Anastasia Zotova married Ildar Dadin in late 2015 after he had already been arrested. She continued to publicise his plight after his imprisonment in a penal colony in Karelia, where he was tortured, and during his subsequent transfer to another prison camp in southern Siberia. Husband and wife have done more than anyone, arguably, to expose conditions in Russia’s large and brutal penitentiary system which today holds dozens more political prisoners. She has been the inspiration behind the website Territory of Torture

This is a Pushkin Club event and all are welcome. The event will be held both in English and in Russian with translation.

The 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards, for which Ildar Dadin has been shortlisted, will be held at London’s Unicorn Theatre on Wednesday 19 April 2017.

During the week, Anastasia Zotova will also be speaking at a joint event held by Index on Censorship and Doughty Street Chambers on 19 April and at the Henry Jackson Society on 20th April.

Cherevatenko fêted in London

posted 20 Mar 2017, 03:50 by Rights in Russia

20 March 2017

Source: editors (JC)

♦ Women of the Don leader receives Politkovskaya Award ♦

On Saturday, 11 March 2017, a large audience at the Women of the World festival at the Southbank Centre in London applauded as Valentina CHEREVATENKO, founder of the Women of the Don NGO, received a special award from Elena Kudimova, Anna Politkovskaya’s sister who lives in London.

The principal winner of the 2016 prize was Jineth Bedoya Lima, a journalist from Colombia.

The organisers of the award, the RAW in WAR charity, decided that in 2016, the tenth anniversary of the first prize award (which went to the late Natalya Estemirova), it would issue two prizes. The second 2016 award should be given, in their view, to another woman from Russia who, like Anna and Natalya, had also done outstanding work in several post-Soviet conflict zones.

For more about Valentina and the Women of the Don, see earlier items in Rights in Russia and the new Wikipedia article about her and her organisation.

Valentina Cherevatenko speaks in London [19:30, Pushkin House, 9 March 2017]

posted 16 Feb 2017, 03:33 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Feb 2017, 03:40 ]

Pushkin Club, Rights in Russia and RAW in WAR proudly invite you to meet a remarkable human rights veteran – Thursday, 9 March, 7.30 pm

On 11 March, at the “Women of the World” Festival on the Southbank, Valentina CHEREVATENKO will receive the Anna POLITKOVSKAYA Award from RAW in WAR. The prize is awarded annually to an outstanding woman from a conflict zone: past laureates include Malalai JOYA-YOUSAFZAI ( Afghanistan, 2013), Marie COLVIN (USA, 2012) and, in 2007, the late Natalya ESTEMIROVA (Chechnya / Russia, 1955-2009).

The evening event at PUSHKIN HOUSE on Thursday, 9 March 2017, offers a rare chance to meet and talk to Mrs Cherevatenko in a less formal setting. Come and listen to what she has to say about her activities since the early 1990s and the conditions under which the WOMEN OF THE DON have to work today. (The event will be in Russian with interpretation.)


Photo: Valentina CHEREVATENKO

Women of the Don (1993)

VALENTINA CHEREVATENKO is the founding chairwoman of the “Women of the Don”. Established in Novocherkassk (Rostov Region) in the early 1990s, the NGO has worked for more than twenty years in different fields of human rights.

WOMEN OF THE DON” has a special emphasis on the rights of women and focus, in particular, on issues of gender discrimination, violence against women, and peace-building initiatives in conflict zones. In the 1990s and early 2000s the NGO worked in the Caucasus to ease the tensions in the region — Georgia-Abkhazia, Armenia-Azerbaijan and, naturally, in Chechnya — by appealing to the women on both sides of each conflict. More recently the organisation has concentrated on building bridges across the UKRAINE-RUSSIA divide (the town of Novocherkassk and its people have many ties, traditionally, with Ukraine).
“WOMEN OF THE DON” has always provided free legal advice to the public; it promotes dialogue and tolerance; and it pursues a mission to improve mutual understanding and relations between the police and members of society.

In 2014, however, the Russian Justice Ministry designated the “Women of the Don” a “foreign agent” NGO. In February 2016 the Ministry withdrew this denigrating label only to accuse its founding chairperson, a few months later, of offences under the 2012 law. Charged with “malicious evasion” of duties imposed on “NGOs that perform the functions of a foreign agent”, CHEREVATENKO is the first person to face criminal prosecution under the new law in Russia.

In Russia and abroad this decision was greeted with concern and dismay. It has been widely condemned among human rights organisations by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Frontline Defenders. among others.

[For more about Valentina’s current situation in Russian, see HERE]

Pushkin Club ● Rights in Russia ● RAW in WAR
PUSHKIN HOUSE
5A Bloomsbury Square, WCIA 2TA
(nearest Underground station – Holborn)

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