Russia ahead of Sochi – behind the charm offensive

Riot police hold brutal grip of protester at Bolotnaya square 6 May 2012, Photo Itar-Tass

As a response to criticism on Russia’s deteriorating human rights record before the Sochi Olympics president Vladimir Putin recently signed an amnesty releasing the country’s most famous political prisoners, among them Mikhail Chodorokovsky and two Pussy Riot members. But others stay behind bars.

The political activists Alexey Sakhnin and Maria Dobrokhotova participated in a protest at the Bolotnaya Square in Moscow the day before Putin’s inauguration as President in 2012. Many of their colleagues are now serving time on vague charges or awaiting politically motivated trials and risk long prison sentences in the so called “Bolotnaya case”. Alexey and Maria managed to flee in time.

Welcome to Civil Rights Defenders breakfast seminar to hear their story about Russia behind the Sochi charm offensive – the Bolotnaya process and what to expect after Sochi Olympics. The seminar will be held in English and moderated by Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Time: Wednesday 22 January at 9.00 to 10.00
Location: Civil Rights Defenders, Stora Nygatan 26, Stockholm

Sign up here, no later than 20 January!

Our office is situated on the second floor and the building lacks ramps, elevators and handicap-accessible bathrooms. If you have special needs, please contact us and we will find a solution.

View the seminar live or afterwards on our Bambuser channel.

Background
Since the reinstallation of President Putin in May 2012 and the adoption of several laws that restrict freedom of expression, as well as freedom of assembly and association, the human rights situation in Russia has severely deteriorated. Crackdowns on civil society actors, arbitrary arrests, and imprisonment of political opponents have followed.

Categories: Events and Uncategorized.
Tags: Bolotnaya square, Freedom of expression, Sochi Olympics, Vladimir Putin, and Winter Olympics.
Regions: Russia.