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Human Right Watch– “Foreign Agents” Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs: Updated June 10, 2013

From Human Rights Watch– Starting in early March 2013 the Russian government launched a nationwide campaign of inspections of nongovernmental organizations, unprecedented in its scale and scope. The inspections were highly extensive, disruptive, invasive, and often intimidating. To date, hundreds of organizations in different regions of Russia have been subject to such inspections; most have […]

Stop the Persecution of Maxim Efimov

Maxim Efimov is a chairman of the Karelian regional branch of the inter-regional youth social charity organization “Youth Human Rights Group (YHRG).”  The Karelian branch of YHRG implements human rights protection programs and supports civic initiatives, in particular youth-oriented projects.   On 5 April 2012 the criminal case № 012012120035 against Maxim Efimov was opened […]

Limmud FSU Conference Held in Vitebsk, Belarus

From JPost: VITEBSK, Belarus – The latest incarnation of Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) took place for the first time in Belarus over the weekend, one of the most storied countries in Jewish history. Once home to a thriving Jewish community decimated by World War II, Belarus produced nine Israeli presidents, two Nobel Prize laureates […]

The Passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg

We at the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union are saddened by the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg. He was a devoted public servant and a friend of all  those around the world fleeing from religious discrimination; in particular, the millions of Jews from the former Soviet Union who owe him a […]

Peres Asked By Lithuanian Government to Head Vilnius Synagogue Restoration

(JTA) — The government of Lithuania asked Israeli President Shimon Peres to head the international advisory board for the restoration of the Vilnius Great Synagogue. “The [restoration] project is an important part of the effort to both preserve and restore Vilnius’ Jewish heritage, and I think that President Peres could bring valuable guidance and insight […]

Urgent Action: Released Journalist Remains at Risk

Rovshen Yazmuhamedov, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist, was released from detention on 22 May in Turkmenistan after spending more than two weeks in custody. The charges against him are still unclear. It is likely he had been targeted in connection with his work as a journalist. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) have stated that Rovshen […]

Expulsion of U.S. Lawyer from Russia Possibly Due to Magnitsky Backing

The Moscow Times– The lack of an official explanation for the abrupt expulsion from Russia of U.S. lawyer and former Justice Department official Thomas Firestone earlier this month has led to a flurry of speculation about what may have prompted it. Firestone, an expert on corruption in Russian law enforcement agencies who worked as a lawyer for the Moscow office of the Baker & McKenzie law firm, was detained […]

Europe’s Oldest Human Rights Org Plans to Upgrade Office in Russia

The Moscow Times– The Council of Europe, the continent’s oldest human rights organization, has announced an agreement to upgrade its Russian office, a sign that Russia takes the 47-member group seriously, a spokesman said, at a time when the Kremlin routinely rejects outside criticism of its rights record. Turning its information office into a program office with diplomatic immunity will allow the council to assist the Russian government in implementing a list […]

The Inevitabilty of Navalny’s Trial: Only 1 Percent of Verdicts Passed in Russia Are Not Guilty

On May 22nd, The Moscow Times reported on the inevitability of a guilty verdict for Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader who is facing a sentencing for fraud. This is because only 1 percent of verdicts passed in Russia are not guilty, according to official statistics. Navalny’s conviction could put him in jail for ten years […]

Amnesty International: Historic Pride march in Moldova should be ‘first of many’

Amnesty International– The Moldovan authorities must ensure that yesterday’s historic Pride march in the capital Chisinau is the “first of many” and is followed up by other steps in combating homophobic discrimination, Amnesty International said today. Around 100 people participated in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Pride parade, the first such event […]