#17 - JRL 2009-176 - JRL Home
Human rights monitoring reveals wide-spread violations across Russia

Moscow, 22 September: Human rights monitoring in constituent parts of the Russian Federation has revealed an unfavourable human rights situation in Russia.

"The information which was provided by human rights organizations shows that last year the situation regarding the observance of human rights in Russia was unfavourable to a considerable degree," Aleksandr Brod, a human rights champion and member of the Public Chamber, today told the workshop conference, "Human rights monitoring of the observance of human rights in constituent parts of the Russian Federation".

Between April and July members of the Public Chamber Aleksandr Brod and Vladislav Grib carried out human rights monitoring in constituent parts of the Russian Federation.

They visited 15 cities, including Moscow, St Petersburg, Kursk, Yaroslavl, Tolyatti, Novosibirsk, Perm, Ufa, Krasnodar, Chelyabinsk and others.

According to Brod, monitoring showed that civil and political rights of citizens were considerably violated and that noncommercial human rights organizations (NGOs) "are subjected to pressure on the part of officials and the media".

"In the conditions of crisis many enterprises did not pay salaries and forced employees to leave without severance pay.

And under the new Labour Code there are practically no provisions allowing strikes and protests to be held legally," Brod said.

Also, according to him, monitoring revealed unlawfulness on the part of law-enforcement agencies that apply torture and beatings of detainees. "

There is a very tense situation in the North Caucasus where terrorist suspects are kidnapped, then subjected to torture and forced to make confessions," Brod said.

Among other violations, he mentioned attacks on ethnic grounds, violence in the army, attacks on the clergy, the unjustifiably restricted role of the jury and the shortcomings of the judicial system.

For his part, Grib said that during their monitoring they had come across a lack of understanding on the part of regional authorities.

"In Rostov we felt like protagonists of a detective novel: we were followed and halls where we were to meet citizens were closed," Grib said.

On the other hand, he said, in some cities - for instance Kursk - the authorities showed understanding and interest towards the rights campaigners.

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