Monday, March 25, 2013

Human Rights NGOs in Russia

There's a good argument to be made that human rights groups played an important role in bringing about an end to the Communist Party's monopoly on power in Russia. (Aryeh Neier makes the argument in his 2012 book, The International Human Rights Movement: A History.) Unfortunately, Russia's current government is showing no gratitude.

Officials from the tax authorities and the general prosecutor's office raided Amnesty International's office in Moscow today. A crew from the government-owned NTV television network arrived at about the same time and, according to a New York Times report, has been trying to gain entrance. The network, according to the Times, "is known for producing salacious reports about critics of the Russian government."

The Moscow office of Memorial, a Russian human rights organization, was raided last week. Memorial was also targeted by a police raid in St. Petersburg in 2008 that resulted in the removal of twelve computer hard drives containing the organization's digital archives.