Published: 31 Dec 2015
2015 Annual Report
EHRAC’s 2015 Annual Report is now available online.
2015 marked a significant anniversary for EHRAC – it is ten years since, working with Memorial HRC, we won our first cases before the European Court of Human Rights relating to gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Russian security forces in Chechnya and the surrounding North Caucasus region. Since then, the Court has found the Russian State responsible for violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in several hundred cases, concerning aerial and artillery bombardment, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial executions. We continue to fight for justice for the victims of these cases today.
Over the years, the backdrop against which civil society operates in Russia has changed with new laws having been introduced in order to stifle NGO activity and critical voices. Hostile attitudes towards those who are working to uphold human rights standards are also common in the South Caucasus countries, and we are involved in a number of important cases where the rights of protesters and human rights defenders have been violated – especially in Azerbaijan where we have been advising on the cases of jailed human rights defenders Intigam Aliyev, Rasul Jafarov and Leyla and Arif Yunus, amongst others. In Ukraine, we seek to hold both the Ukrainian and Russian Governments accountable on behalf of victims of the conflict in the Donbas region.
Although the regional context is constantly changing, we are unwavering in our mission to give a voice to marginalised groups and vulnerable individuals.
This year was also one of growth and development for EHRAC. With an additional Lawyer and a new Finance and Grants Officer, we have strengthened our existing expertise, while expanding into new thematic areas. Several of our high-profile cases came to judgment, all of which have the potential to bring about legislative and policy change. We launched distance-learning seminars to reach partners in remote areas, focusing on the use of UN mechanisms to combat violence against women: an innovative medium to discuss this very important issue.
We could not do any of this without the very valued support of our interns, partners, advisors, funders and Middlesex University – a huge thank you to them all.