Posts Tagged ‘Komi Republic’

Investigate Attacks Against Human Rights Defender Igor Sazhin and others in Russia

February 25, 2014

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skyline_Parkway_Motel_Burned.jpg

(Photo Credit: SchuminWeb via Wikimedia Commons)

In ForceChange Avram Reisman posts an appeal to be signed asking President Putin of Russia to investigate attacks against human rights defenders. The background is that in early February 2014, human rights defender Igor Sazhin’s apartment was attacked by an unknown assailant. Video from Sazhin’s apartment building shows that the man set the rug outside his family’s apartment ablaze after dousing it with fuel. Despite Sizhan filing a complaint with the police immediately afterward, the police claim the attempted arson was not a crime and refuse to investigate. Sazhin is a founding member of the Komi Human Rights Commission, which has been consistently targeted by the ultra-nationalist group Northern Frontier. In May 2013, Northern Frontier attacked a meeting of the Human Rights Commission. In addition, they have posted the names and addresses of many local human rights defenders, including Sazhin.

The open letter asks President Putin to denounce any violent political actions as deplorable; without this official response, human rights defenders across Russia will be in implicitly acceptable targets for ultra-nationalists.

Investigate Attacks Against Human Rights Defender – ForceChange.

Russian NGO KHRC Memorial attacked after being labeled foreign agent

May 28, 2013

On 18 May 2013, a meeting of the Komi Human Rights Commission Memorial (KHRC Memorial) was aggressively interrupted by members of the radical nationalist group “Rubezh Severa” (Northern Border). Members of KHRC Memorial had gathered in a local cafeteria in Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic, Russia, to report on their work and financial situation for the period 2011-13. The meeting was public, and several journalists had been invited. As soon as the meeting began, members of the radical right group entered the room, calling the group foreign agents and waving banners, one of which read “Motherland for Sale, Reasonable Price”. Members of the human rights group managed to force the intruders out of the café and called the police, but not before two leaders, Igor Sazhin and Pavel Andreyev had ketchup thrown at their heads. The police detained the intruders and released them after administrative protocol had been completed. The incident comes just a few weeks after the KHRC Memorial received a warning from the Prosecutor’s Office on 27 April 2013, stating that some of its activities, such as its participation in protest actions were ‘political activity’. As such, the organisation is required to register as a ‘foreign agent‘ under the controversial ‘Foreign Agents’ Law, as it also receives funds from abroad. Front Line Defenders believes the attack is a possible effect of the new ‘Foreign Agents’ Law.