Let’s call on Putin to protect freedom of expression

The situation in Russia

 In January this year a group of people gathered in St Petersburg to have a snowball fight. The police responded by banning it and dispersing the crowd – calling it an “unauthorised gathering”. This may seem ridiculous one off event but it isn’t. The space for freedom of assembly, association and expression is rapidly shrinking in Russia.

 The systematic undermining and violation of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association have been the hallmark of Vladimir Putin’s human rights record during the first year of his third mandate as Russian president, Amnesty International said in a report published recently.

The new laws

Since Vladimir Putin returned to office as Russia’s President he has introduced laws that:

  • severely limit freedom of assembly
  • stigmatise the LGBTI community
  • criminalise insulting the feelings of believers
  • broaden the definitions of treason and espionage so that human rights activism could potentially be criminalised

Putin also brought in provisions that force NGOs who engage in “political activity” and receive foreign funding to register as “foreign agents” – highly derogative term in Russia contributing to the smear campaign against NGOs and human rights activists.

All of these laws have been introduced to crack-down on political opposition and civil society activists.

“These recent legal initiatives have the declared aim of ensuring public order and the protection of the rights of citizens. Their effect has been the opposite: prominent government critics, opposition voices, watchdogs and ordinary individuals demonstrating on a wide range of issues have all seen their rights restricted over the course of the last year” – John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International

Supporting Amnesty International

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care provider based in Sydney, N.S.W, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people across Sydney, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Amnesty International as they encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at mail@phoenixrising.org.au

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at www.phoenixrising.org.au

How you can help

 “Civic engagement is precious social capital and it is in Russia’s interest to invest in it. The current government is stifling it, however, through a wide range of violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.  These need, urgently, to be reversed.” – John Dalhuisen

Sign the petition below and call on President Putin to end the attack on civil society.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/sochi

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: