Human Rights in Russia - An Overview
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the human rights situation in Russia, including the precarious situation of journalists and human rights and political activists working in the country, and the tensions in the North Caucasus.
The 2009 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report on Russia emphasized that the situation in the North Caucasus "remained an area of particular concern," and "local government and insurgent forces reportedly engaged in killing, torture, abuse, violence, politically motivated abductions and other brutal or humiliating treatment, often with impunity."
Freedom of the press also continues to erode. The Glasnost Defense Foundation documented 59 journalists who were attacked, eight of whom were killed in 2009. Reporters Without Borders assessment for 2009 stated that: "Media freedom [in Russia] has not significantly improved over the past decade. Radio and TV news diversity is still lacking, independent media outlets are harassed by police and courts and those who kill journalists are not punished." According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a vaguely worded new press law currently under consideration further expands the reach of security agents to censor the press to ostensibly combat extremism.
Many high profile killings remain unresolved, including the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya and the 2009 killing of Natalya Estemirova.
If you have any questions, please contact 202-225-3599.
Karinna Moskalenko, Founder and Director, International Protection Center
William Browder, Chief Executive Director, Hermitage Capital Management Ltd.
Tanya Lokshina, Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch â€“ Moscow
Sam Patten, Senior Program Officer, Freedom House
Paul Goble, Director of Research and Publications, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy
Nina Ognianova, Program Coordinator for Europe & Central Asia, Committee to Protect Journalists