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 the office staff and encouraged several people from an unknown organization to occupy the office. During this operation, many members of the Movement staff were hurt, including Movement's chairman, Lev Ponomarev, who is 72 years old. There are two other Human Rights NGOs (Fund for Protecting Prisoners' Rights and Hot Line) in this office. Federal Human Rights' Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin arrived there but could not stop this violence.

Only the very top authorities could have ordered such an aggressive attack. This is clearly part of their overarching campaign to suffocate civil society's freedom throughout Russia. Anti-Democratic events and new laws and regulations in the human rights sphere are all part of the re-Stalinization of the regime. We would like to attract  the attention of democratic societies worldwide to Russia's aggressive policies and blatant violations of the Final Helsinki Act, European and UN charters on human rights. We strongly insist on returning the Moscow office to the human rights NGOs and bringing to justice all officials who were a part of the June 21st office attack.
Larry Lerner
UCSJ President