On Sunday 3 March 2019, Sergei Nikitin, former Director of Amnesty International in Russia and former staff member at Friends House Moscow, will talk about his experience as a human rights defender in Russia. The meeting at Lancaster Friends Meeting House (U.K.) will also feature borsch for lunch and an update on the work of FHM.
“My talk is about Russia’s human rights violations record, [and] Amnesty International’s existence in a country where the term ‘human rights’ is often to be changed by the media and the authorities to the term ‘so-called human rights’, where the authorities deny the universality of human rights and insist it is ‘traditional values’ that matter whereas ‘human rights’ are a western invention.
“I will cover the difficulties faced by human rights defenders in Russia (police harassment, the threat of the Amnesty International Russia office closure, the foreign agents list, the undesirable organisations list, etc) with examples from my personal experiences. I will talk about how the political climate changed during my years as Director and how AI, a foreign organisation, was able to continue to operate in an increasingly unfriendly political climate. My talk will look at different areas of AI activity (lobbying, peaceful demonstrations, campaigning, HR education in schools, HR education amongst law enforcement officers, HR research, including monitoring of the situation in the North Caucasus, and Georgia), and discuss the possibilities and the limitation of HR work in Russia over the past 15 years and at the present time.
“And of course, I am happy to answer any questions re the current situation in Russia.”