You are here
Challenge Russia's Human Rights Abuses at G20 Meeting
Campaign Hashtag: #RussiaKeepHopeAlive
Challenge Russia’s Human Rights Abuses and Clampdown on Civil Society at G20 Meeting in St. Petersburg
Washington - August 28, 2013 - Today, Russian and international human rights organizations launch the ‘Keep Hope Alive’ campaign asking world leaders to challenge Russia on the deteriorating human rights situation and escalating clampdown on civil society in the context of the G20 meeting taking place in St Petersburg on September 5 and 6.
Since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, the Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on civil society, targeting in particular human rights defenders protecting the rights of minority groups. A series of discriminatory and restrictive laws have been introduced which significantly restrict civil society organizations and threatens their existence, such as the treason law, ‘foreign agent’ law, Dima Yakovlev law, and anti-propaganda law.
These legal restrictions are supplemented by harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and civil society representatives casting them as ‘enemies’ of Russia and its ‘traditional values.'
As a result, these laws and policies fuel violence and discrimination against the most vulnerable minority groups in Russia, including immigrant workers, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBTI people. While ethnic, racial and religious minorities, and immigrant workers with a non-Slavic appearance have long been targets of neo-Nazis and ultra nationalist groups, with the introduction of new laws and accompanying public rhetoric ‘demonizing’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans identities, LGBTI people (particularly youth) have increasingly become the new ‘bait’ for hate groups.
The situation has been criticized by virtually all major international organizations highlighting Russia’s violation of very basic international human rights obligations and democratic principles, but much more needs to be done to confront Russia. Therefore this campaign appeals to world leaders to speak up during the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg to challenge Russia to reverse this trend and to comply with its international human rights obligations.
The 'Keep Hope Alive' campaign is supported by:
Civil Rights Defenders
Front Line Defenders
ILGA-Europe - the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
Russian LGBT Network
UNITED for Intercultural Action - European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees
Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2013, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2013 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2012.
To learn more about Russia, visit:
Freedom in the World 2013: Russia
Freedom of the Press 2013: Russia
Special Report: Contending with Putin’s Russia
Nations in Transit 2013: Russia
Freedom on the Net 2012: Russia
Blog: Freedom at Issue
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feeds, newsletter and our blog.
For more information about the campaign, please contact:
Björn van Roozendaal, Programmes Director at [email protected],
tel: + 32 2 609 54 15 / +31 497 625 322
Juris Lavrikovs, Communications Manager at [email protected],
tel: + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375
Notes for editors:
‘Keep Hope Alive’ campaign:
ILGA-Europe’s briefing note on the human rights situation of LGBTI people and other minority groups in Russia
ILGA-Europe’s web resource on Russia developments