The European Court of Human Rights issues a long-awaited judgment on Russia’s ‘foreign agents’ law: expectations and reality
In early June 2022, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in Ecodefence and Others v. Russia – a decision which representatives of 73 Russian non-governmental organisations had been expecting for nine years. The Court has finally recognised that the Russian Foreign Agents Act violates Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, i. e. the rights to freedom of assembly and association, and the Russian government’s application of the ‘foreign agent’ concept is arbitrary.
“Threat to life is often underestimated in a situation of violence”. Interview with Anastasia Maskaeva, Crisis Centre for Women
“INGI. Crisis Centre for Women,” an NGO that has been active in St. Petersburg for 30 years offering assistance to women affected by various types of gender-based violence. In her interview with Legal Dialogue, the Centre's psychologist Anastasia Maskaeva speaks about their clients' most common problems and concerns, the importance of providing “one-stop-shop” assistance, and why helping the victim is more essential than punishing the abuser.
“The virus doesn’t care what group a person belongs to.” Interview with Denis Efremov, Sibalt Centre (Omsk)
Sibalt is an NGO that has been active in Omsk since the mid-1990s helping people with HIV. Legal Dialogue asked Denis Efremov of Sibalt about barriers to HIV prevention in the region, the role of peer counseling, and the organisation's work under sanctions.
Anna Kryukova is a medical lawyer with the Open Medical Club Foundation in St. Petersburg and co-chair of the CSF Working Group on Public and Inclusive Health. In her interview to Vladimir Shvedov, Anna explains how she combines medical and legal practice to help defend the rights of both patients and healthcare workers.
Elena Shakhova: “There have been attempts to humanise the foreign agents law, but they have led to nothing good”
Elena Shakhova is the Chair of Citizens' Watch, a human rights NGO in St. Petersburg, and a Board Member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. In a special interview for Legal Dialogue, Elena speaks to journalist Vladimir Shvedov about the situation with human rights in places of detention in Russia and how the pandemic has changed things and discusses a highly sensitive issue for Russian civil society today, the law on "foreign agents."
Galina Arapova: “People have little to no understanding of what independent journalism is and how it should function in a normal society”
In a special interview for Legal Dialogue, journalist Vladimir Shvedov asks lawyer and head of the Mass Media Defence Centre Galina Arapova about her vision of the present and future of Russian journalism, IT giants' policies concerning freedom of speech, and whether the “foreign agents" law can be improved.
“People here don’t understand that you can’t take a woman by force.” Why sex without consent is rape in Europe, but not in Russia
From an ethical, legal and social standpoint, sexual consent is a complex concept. It has no single definition, and taboos around talking about sex can make it difficult to discuss. Nevertheless, every year more and more countries are recognising sex without consent as rape.
Ministers and Dissertations: Academic Fraud Scandals and Their Political Consequences in Russia and the EU
A 2013 ‘word of the year’ in Russia was Dissernet, the name of an emerging informal network that set out to investigate infractions of academic integrity in Russia – in particular, to expose plagiarism in the dissertations of high-ranking academics and politicians.
Tatiana Glushkova: ‘The choice is yours: either to live under constant threat or to post nothing but cute kittens in social media’
In an exclusive interview for Legal Dialogue, lawyer Tatyana Glushkova and journalist Vladimir Shvedov discuss the multiple forms of 'foreign agent' labels in Russia today and their implications for those affected.
Searching for balance: freedom of expression and the use of criminal measures to combat COVID-19 misinformation
During the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation has become an important problem that threatens the health and even lives of people. But where is the line to be drawn between the fight against the spread of disinformation and the attack on free speech?
Echoes of Stalin’s “Great Terror.” How the descendants of repression continue to fight for their rights
Massive political repression in the USSR peaked in the late 1930s, but the descendants of the repressed are still fighting to restore the honest name of their ancestors and are trying to return home from their places of exile, to where their families were expelled decades ago.
On January 2020, President Putin called for amending the Russian Constitution to establish its precedence over supranational judicial bodies, meaning, primarily, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Interestingly, this was not a new idea: Russian legal experts who for many years have been suggesting such an amendment to the Constitution had referred to German precedent.