Archive by Author

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 […]

Azerbaijan criminalizes free speech online ahead of elections (Amnesty International Press Release)

May 15 2013 The Azerbaijani authorities must not use the upcoming presidential election as a pretext to silence critical voices and meaningful debate, Amnesty International said following a move to extend criminal defamation laws to the internet. On 14 May, the Azerbaijani Parliament approved an amendment to the country’s defamation law to impose hefty fines […]

Russian NGOs Discuss State Pressure

From The Moscow Times– The leaders of some of Russia’s largest nongovernmental organizations raised their concerns about a Kremlin crackdown during a meeting Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry, who was wrapping up a two-day visit, met with the NGO representatives at Spaso House, the Moscow residence of U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, […]

Irish Lawmakers to Scrap Magnitsky List Due to Child Adoption Threat

From The Moscow Times– Ireland has dropped plans to impose U.S.-style Magnitsky sanctions on Russia after Moscow warned that it might respond by banning Irish parents from adopting Russian children. The Russian opposition assailed Ireland for the reversal, saying it had not only bowed to Kremlin blackmail but had also shown a lack of leadership as the current president of the European Union. Irish lawmakers […]

Top Psychologists Ask Putin to Allow U.S. Parents to Adopt 100 Children

From The Moscow Times– A group of top Russian child psychologists, psychiatrists and educators have appealed to President Vladimir Putin to allow about 100 Russian children who were in the final stages of the adoption process to be allowed to join their new U.S. parents. The open letter says the children had met with the potential parents many times and developed an emotion attachment, but the courts were unable to finalize the adoptions […]

Siberian City of Tomsk to Return Wooden Synagogue to the Jewish Community

JTA — The Siberian city of Tomsk will return an old, wooden synagogue built by Jewish soldiers to the Jewish community. The synagogue and surrounding complex will be handed over to the Jewish Community of Tomsk after the municipality finds alternative housing for some 15 families who are currently living there, Mayor Nikolay Nikolaychuk said, according […]

Azarbaijan: A Partnership Between Jews and Muslims

By Nasimi Aghayev From The Washington Times– With Syria mired in open revolt, several other Middle Eastern and North African countries still reeling from the Arab Spring, and Iran at loggerheads with the United States over its nuclear program, it was astounding to hear Israel’s president refer to a Muslim country this week not as […]