Human rights and the rule of law are being increasingly undermined in Russia, where the authorities routinely subvert the country’s legal and administrative apparatus to silence dissent. Restrictive legislation, such as the so-called “Foreign Agents” laws, punish and vilify human rights defenders, civil society activists, and independent journalists, whilst law enforcement bodies and the security services act with impunity. Women and sexual minorities are not sufficiently protected against discrimination and violence, and restrictions on protest prevent ordinary Russians from exercising their right to freedom of assembly.
EHRAC was founded in 2003 and began by litigating cases at the European Court of Human Rights arising from the conflict in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, in partnership with Memorial Human Rights Centre. Our remit in Russia has steadily expanded over the years to include litigation on issues relating to civil society repression, restrictions on protest, LGBTIQ+ rights, violence against women and girls, security force violations as well as conflict and occupation.