Freedom House Mourns the Death of Russian Activist Boris Pustyntsev | Freedom House

Freedom House Mourns the Death of Russian Activist Boris Pustyntsev

Freedom House mourns the passing and remembers the achievements of Soviet dissident Boris Pustyntsev, a pioneer of civil rights advocacy in his country and whose work spanned more than half a century.

Born in 1935, Pustyntsev became active as a student in a youth group that called on the Soviet government to obey its own constitution. The group also protested the 1956 military occupation of Hungary. Pustyntsev was subsequently convicted under the Soviet Union’s notorious “counter-revolutionary” article and served five years in a camp for political prisoners.

Pustyntsev remained committed to his activism following his release in 1962 and for the next two decades was one of the Soviet Union’s most prominent dissidents and human rights defenders. After the fall of the Soviet regime, Pustyntsev helped found Citizens Watch, a civic group to promote public oversight of the new Russian government. This is the same fundamental demand that continues to unite and inspire civil rights defenders in Russia.

“Boris Pustyntsev was a courageous individual whose passing is a great loss for all of us who care about human rights,” said Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “His bravery and commitment to improving human rights and the future of Russia are an inspiration.”

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