Open Russia’s Human Rights project was set up to provide legal support to people whom the government is persecuting for their opinions, as well as their social and political activity. The initiative offers emergency legal support in cases where there is clearly a political motive. In such cases where our resources are insufficient for legal support, we take part in information campaigns in support of the victims and their families.
There exist in Russia a number of laws that run counter to international legal norms as well as the Russian constitution; in particular laws that limit the right of citizens to express their opinions and take part in the social and political life of the country. People are commonly persecuted under vague laws against terrorism or extremism, which can be used to incriminate any individual whose beliefs are considered “extreme”.
In recent months we have witnessed some of the most extreme political persecution since the late Soviet period. On March 26 2017 over 1500 people were detained across the country for their participation in anti-corruption protests. Open Russia’s Human Rights team worked ceaselessly throughout this period to provide legal, material and moral support to the victims — some underage schoolchildren — and their families. The team set up a fundraiser and through a series of generous donations, managed to engage an additional 50 lawyers to work with victims around the country.
To find about more about how you can help support victims of political repression in Russia, click here