Update

Russia: ‘Keep Hope Alive’ campaign launched ahead of G20

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ARTICLE 19

28 Aug 2013

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ARTICLE 19 has joined together with Russian and International human rights groups to launch the ‘Keep Hope Alive’ campaign.

We are asking world leaders to challenge Russia about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country ahead of the G20 meeting that will take place in St Petersburg on 5th and 6th September.

Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012. Since his return, the Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on the fundamental right to freedom of expression and against civil society. Human rights defenders that protect the rights of minority groups have been particularly targeted.

A raft of discriminatory and regressive laws have been passed that restrict civil society organisations, threatening their very existence. These laws include widening the definition of treason; requiring civil society groups that receive overseas funding to register as a ‘foreign agents’; and banning ‘homosexual propaganda.’ Legal restrictions have been accompanied by the harassment and intimidation of civil society groups and human rights defenders, who have been cast as ‘enemies’ of the state and its ‘traditional values’.

State policies are fuelling violence and discrimination against the most vulnerable minority groups in Russia, including migrant workers, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBTI people.

The human rights situation in Russia has been criticised by virtually all major international organisations.

The ‘Keep Hope Alive’ campaign calls on world leaders to speak up at the G20 and urge Russia to comply with its obligations under international law to protect basic human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.

Watch the 'Keep Hope Alive' video here

Read ARTICLE 19’s Executive Director Agnes Callamard’s Huffington Post blog reviewing the state of free expression in Russia over the past year.

 

'Keep Hope Alive' is supported by:

Article 19

Civil Rights Defenders

Freedom House

Front Line Defenders

ILGA-Europe - The European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Russian LGBT Network

UNITED for Intercultural Action - European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees