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Political Persecution in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kazakhstan – an expert seminar during HDIM 2017

On the occasion of the OSCE HDIM 2017, the Open Dialog Foundation held an expert seminar “Human Rights and Political Persecution in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kazakhstan” in Warsaw on 21 September 2017.

This discussion was our last side event during HDIM 2017. It was co-hosted by the Vzglyad newspaper and Global Ukraine. Our speakers included:

– Dmitriy Sotnikov, Russian lawyer, protecting the rights of Ukrainians from the #LetMyPeopleGo list and several cases violating decisions European Court Of Human Rights (ECHR) by the Russian Federation;
– Mykhailo Zhernakov, Director of the DeJuRe Foundation, a former judge and a member of the Public Integrity Council in Ukraine;
– Dzhamilya Aimbetova-Tokmadi, wife of Muratkhan Tokmadi, a Kazakh businessman held in the detention facility of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan, pressured to provide forced testimonies against Kazakh dissidents;
– Violeta Moskalu, founder of Global Ukraine;
– Ilya Novikov, Russian lawyer, protecting the rights of Ukrainians from the #LetMyPeopleGo list (formerly advocate of Nadiya Savchenko);
Ana Ursachi, Moldovan lawyer and human rights defender.
The event was moderated by Lyudmyla Kozlovska.

Human rights defenders, civil society experts and diplomats gathered to discuss concrete cases of human rights violations and political persecution in the post-Soviet region as well as mechanisms and tools of OSCE that could help to stop such practices.

The Russian Federation is one of three ‘leaders’ among all Council of Europe member states when it comes to number of unexecuted rulings of the European Court of Human Rights; during the event speakers introduced individual cases in which Russian authorities have ignored their international obligations and failed to apply ECHR decisions.

In Kazakhstan, we are witnessing a new wave of repressions aimed at silencing dissenting voices, independent media outlets, peaceful protesters and opposition activists.

In the last year, a sweeping crackdown on civil society has intensified in Ukraine and Moldova. Unprecedented criminal proceedings and episodes of harassment have targeted NGOs, journalists and pro-reform activists in the two countries.

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