Veteran Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva voiced concern about an increase in violent attacks and harassment targeting Russia’s civil society leaders at an event hosted by Freedom House in Washington April 20. She warned that provincial governors and the state-run media are now expanding a campaign against civil society initiated by former President Vladimir Putin. The event also featured remarks from Andrey Yurov and Dmitry Makarov of the Youth Human Rights Movement in Russia. During her visit to Washington, Alekseyeva briefed policy makers and joined eight human rights groups in issuing an open letter that urged Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to ensure that business executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev receive a fair second trial.
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.