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Ambassador Kelly’s Statement on Suspension of Russian NGO ‘Golos’

Below is a copy of the statement Ambassador Ian Kelly delivered to the Permanent Council in Vienna on July 4, 2013 regarding the six month suspension of Golos, a major independent election monitoring NGO. As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The United States is deeply concerned by the Russian Ministry of […]

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 […]

New Memorial Complex to Be Built at Babi Yar Massacre Site

The World Forum of Russian-speaking Jews (WFRJ) announced on Sunday that a new memorial complex will be built at Babi Yar, the Ukrainian site in which approximately 50,000 Jews were massacred by Nazis during the Holocaust, The Times of Israel reports.  WRFJ President Alexander Levin presented a model of the memorial, which will include a […]

U.S. State Dept Report Cites Russia, Uzbekistan as Among Worst in Human Trafficking

The U.S. State Department’s annual report listed Russia, Uzbekistan and China as countries that have made the worst efforts to combat human trafficking, Reuters reports. They have fallen to Tier 3, which is the lowest level, placing them in the same category as North Korea and Iran. The report states that in Russia, the government […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]