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UCSJ Attends Second Annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, UCSJ’s President, Larry Lerner, and Associate Director, Maria Weissman, attended the second annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable event. The IRF is an informal alliance of over one hundred faith-based organizations, religious freedom advocates and NGOs. The event was held on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room and was co-sponsored by Advocates […]

UCSJ Strongly Condemns Moscow Attack Against Russian NGO Office

The Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union (UCSJ) strongly objects to the armed attack against the All-Russia Movement For Human Rights’ central office at Maly Kislovsky street in downtown Moscow on June 21, 2013. That evening, the FSB, Police and OMON officers and soldiers stormed their office, changed all locks, threw out […]

UCSJ Letter to the Co-Chairs of the Helsinki Commission

April 15, 2013 U R G E N T Honorable Senator Benjamin Cardin Honorable Congressman Christopher Smith Co-chairs of the Helsinki Commission of the American Congress (Committee on Foreign Affairs) Dear co-chairs of the Helsinki Commission: Alarming information about the escalation of wide attacks on the Russian NGOs comes every day from Moscow. Almost all […]

UCSJ Update: Our Discussion with Luidmilla Alexeeva

MARCH 11, 2013 On March 2, 2013, UCSJ President Larry Lerner and International Director Leonid Stonov had an hour long Skype discussion with the Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), Luidmilla Alexeeva. Alexeeva is a long-term partner of UCSJ. She arrived in the US on March 1, 2013, after being invited by Senator Benjamin […]

Obama Signs Magnitsky Bill Into Law

Read the UCSJ President’s Message Regarding UCSJ’s work with this bill here. Dec 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill that modernizes U.S. trade relations with Russia by ending a Cold War-era provision, but also punishes Russian human rights violators. Russia has objected strongly to the human rights component […]

President’s Message Regarding the Magnitsky Bill

To our friends of the UCSJ, President Obama has signed the Magnitsky bill, which passed in Congress by significant numbers.  It is a great victory for human rights and for the UCSJ.  Last August, the UCSJ gathered ten human rights groups and many individuals all of whom signed on to a letter to over 150 […]

UCSJ Letter to President Lukashenko

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka Administratsia Presidenta Respubliki Belarus ul Karla Marksa 38, 220016 Minsk, Belarus e-mail: contact@president.gov.by October 30, 2012 Dear Mr. President: The Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union (UCSJ), an American independent grassroots human rights NGO founded in 1970, strongly protests the continuing persecution of journalists and other activists in […]

Maxim Efimov, Russian Human Rights Activist, Granted Asylum in Estonia

Maxim Efimov, head of the Youth Human Rights Group of Karelia, has been granted political asylum in Estonia. As UCSJ mentioned in our Letter to President Putin on Behalf of Maxim Efimov, Efimov fled from Russia after getting charged by local prosecutors for publishing an article that compared the Orthodox Church to the largest leading political […]

UCSJ Statement Regarding Threats to Tatyana Lokshina

The international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has informed UCSJ that Tatyana Lokshina, Deputy Director of HRW Moscow office, received nine text messages (SMS) from September 28th- 30th that directly threatened her and her future child. Lokshina was the Director of the UCSJ Bureau in Moscow in the early 1990s and also has worked with […]

Statement of Solidarity

Union of Councils expresses solidarity with democratic forces in Russia who strongly protest against the falsification of parliamentary election results. Today, big rallies in Moscow, Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, and many other cities and towns across Russia showed that Russian civil society not only exists, but is fighting for democratization and political-economic reforms. We support the […]