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New Russian human rights NGO plans to go national soon

Moscow, 21 October: The new nongovernmental organization, All-Russia Civic Network (vernacular: Vserossiyskaya grazhdanskaya set), which has brought together (a number of) well-known public figures, plans to open branches in all Russian regions in the very near future.

"We already have branches in nine regions but we would like our organization to operate throughout Russia," chairman of the All-Russia Civic Network and head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) Lyudmila Alekseyeva has told Interfax.

The decision to set up the All-Russia Civic Network was taken after a split in another public organization, the All-Russia Civil Congress. At the time, disagreements with one of the co-chairmen of the All-Russia Civil Congress, Garri Kasparov, forced two other co-chairmen, MHG head Lyudmila Alekseyeva and head of Indem foundation Georgiy Satarov, to leave.

"We are a nonpolitical organization. Our main task is the protection of human rights, an independent judiciary, combating corruption and fighting for the freedom of speech," Alekseyeva said. She added that the new organization would strive to achieve these aims by staging events to raise people's awareness.

She said that the All-Russia Civic Network would be led by one chairman and the supervisory council, whose members included head of the Glasnost Defence Foundation Aleksey Simonov, head of the Golos (Vote, or Voice) association Liliya Shebanova, journalist Svetlana Sorokina, head of the Indem foundation Georgiy Satarov, head of the Civil Control human rights organization Boris Pustyntsev, head of the Social Contract institute Aleksandr Auzan, and others.