Civil society


EU slams Russia for adding opposition leader Alexei Navalny to list of ‘terrorists and extremists’

The European Union condemned Russian authorities´ move to add Alexei Navalny, an imprisoned opposition leader, and some of his top allies to the registry of terrorists and extremists as "not acceptable" and part of "continued repression against the critical voices in Russian society". The decision by Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service means his bank accounts will be frozen under Russian law.

Source:  Euronews


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."

Less than 20% conviction rate in domestic violence cases before Dublin courts

In 2019 and 2020, less than one in five people accused of a domestic violence offence were convicted and strike out/withdrawal applications were made in 65 per cent of cases, significantly more than other types of offences.

Source: Irishtimes


Spain grants monthly aid to lure youths out of parents’ homes

250 euros a month will be paid by the Spanish government to low-income youths to help them pay a rent and leave their parents‘ house given the large number of young adults in the country who cannot afford to move out.

Source: Reuters 


EU leaders must pay attention to threatened civic freedoms in Slovenia

Janez Janša and his far-right party (SDS) have repeatedly targeted the civic freedoms he previously defended. In June 2021, the country was placed on the CIVICUS Monitor Watchlist because of the rapid deterioration in civic freedoms, in particular those about environmental rights and culture. Independent journalism is also seriously undermined.

Source: euronews


Human rights group releases video evidencing abuse in Omsk prisons

A video evidencing the abuse of inmates in prisons in Russia’s Omsk region has been released by It was obtained from the Omsk regional branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) and shows the quarantine cells for new arrivals and the way the inmates were abused and forced to work on weekends under threat of torture.

Source: meduza


Poland and Hungary go hard on Belarus migrants

Poland wants the EU to approve the restriction of people's right to asylum if they enter from Belarus, among other "emergency" measures. Poland tried to add to an EU Commission proposal an article which may allow making asylum applications for people who illegally crossed the border with Belarus only at designated border crossing points.

Source: EUobserver 


Bulgaria’s surveillance laws violate European human rights code, court rules

The ruling comes amid growing backlash over secret surveillance in Bulgaria. A lack of regulations in Bulgarian law has led to a situation where data "could be used for nefarious purposes," the court said.

Source: DW


Activists behind Shell climate verdict target 30 multinationals

The Dutch wing of environmental group Friends of the Earth, which won a landmark court case against Royal Dutch Shell last year, demanded 30 corporations publish plans for big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Reuters


Russia has started issuing ‘non-citizen passports’

According to the Interior Ministry, there are an estimated 4,500 stateless persons living in Russia today. Each of these people are eligible for a green “Temporary identity card of a stateless person in the Russian Federation.” Authorities in Moscow began issuing “non-citizen passports” in December 2021. Other Russian regions began issuing these identity documents even earlier, with roughly 600 people obtaining them last year.

Source: Meduza


German court finds Syrian colonel guilty of crimes against humanity

A German court has sentenced a Syrian colonel to life in prison for crimes against humanity. Anwar Raslan, 58, was linked to the torture of over 4,000 people in Syria's civil war in a jail known as "Hell on Earth". The trial in Koblenz is the world's first criminal case brought over state-led torture in Syria.

Source: BBC


Language law for national print media comes into force in Ukraine

A language law came into force in Ukraine on 16 January that requires all national print media to be published in the country’s official language, Ukrainian, in a bid to push back against the use of the Russian language in the public sphere.

Source: Radio Liberty