Posts Tagged ‘psychiatric assessment’

Russian human rights defenders update: Tatiana Kotlyar and Elena Ryabinina

May 12, 2014

On 30 April 2014, an investigative officer in Russia ordered the psychiatric assessment of human rights defender Ms Tatiana Kotlyar in relation to an ongoing criminal investigation into the allegations that she falsely allowed dozens of migrants to illegally register her own apartment as their place of residence. [Tatiana Kotlyar is the deputy of Obninsk city council and is the chair of the Kaluga movement “For Human Rights”, which specialises in the protection of minority rights, including the rights of Roma and migrants. Since 2011, Tatiana Kotlyar has been allowing dozens of migrants to register her apartment as their place of residence for free. The Investigative Officer Zimin ordered the psychiatric examination, even though Tatiana Kotlyar has no history of psychiatric difficulties and has never received psychiatric treatment. Front Line believes that the decision may be linked to the fact that the human rights defender did not require payment for providing residence registration for more than a hundred people.]  For actions see: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/25865/action

In the meantime Front Line Defenders informs us of the death of Elena Ryabinina, a much admired Russian human rights defender, on 4 May 2014 in Moscow, aged 59. Since 2002, Ryabinina had been fighting for the rights of refugees seeking asylum from Central Asian countries. She was renowned for the compassion, enthusiasm, and optimism with which she worked to achieve better rights for refugees and asylum seekers. She must have saved dozens of Uzbeks and Tajiks who sought asylum. Although she did not have formal legal training, Ryabinina developed an impressive knowledge of asylum laws, and consulted and defended people seeking political and religious asylum. She worked with the Civic Assistance Committee and the Memorial Human Rights Center and headed the Right to Asylum program at the Institute for Human Rights.