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 […]

Putin Denies that He is Returning Russia to Stalinism

MOSCOW (Reuters)- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was not returning Russia to the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and denied any political motive in the prosecution and jailing of opponents. In response to a question from a liberal journalist at his annual phone-in, Putin said he saw “no element of Stalinism” […]

Summer Study Abroad Opportunity in Kiev, Ukraine

From the Bridge Education Abroad Institute– Bridge Education Abroad Institute is a fast growing study abroad institute, based in the state of Maryland, United States of America. Our institute plans short programs all across the world, to provide students with unique opportunities to experience different political cultures while strengthening their leadership and diplomacy skills. Our […]