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The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum strives to promote cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech.



Finnish Lawyer Arrested in Moscow

Kari Silvennoinen

The Finnish lawyer, Kari Silvennoinen, was arrested on his arrival at Moscow airport on 27 September 2013. The Russian authorities gave no reason for his arrest. Mr Silvennoinen has been held without food and drink over night.



Interpol Again Rejects Russian Request


The General Secretariat of Interpol has announced that Russia could not use Interpol to arrest William Browder, CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, who was running a campaign to bring Russian officials responsible for the death of whistleblower Sergey Magnitsky to justice. A day earlier, Russia sent a search request to Interpol on Mr Browder.


Khodorkovsky Case Politically Motivated

Mikhail Khodorkovsky & Platon LebedevThe European Court of Human Rights has retracted its press release on the ruling in the case brought by the two former owners of the Yukos Oil Company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, against the Russian state, NEWSru.com reported. Apparently, the initial press release stated that the charges against the two had “strong grounds,” whereas the Court ruling said nothing of the sort.

Mr Khodorkovsky’s lawyer, Karinna Moskalenko, said the Court was ready to concede that some political forces and state officials had reason to prosecute Mr Khodorkovsky and Mr Lebedev through Russian courts, and that the authorities might have had a “hidden agenda.” Ms Moskalenko said the Court did confirm that there was reason to suspect that the Khodorkovsky case was indeed politically motivated.


Finland: Call to Arrest Putin


A group of Finnish civic activists has today filed a report to the police, calling for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and for an investigation into his actions during the war in Chechnya.


Stop Persecution of Civil Society in Russia!

Foreign AgentThe Steering Committee of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum has issued a statement protesting the growing persecution of independent civil society organisations in Russia as a result of repressive legislation on “foreign agents.” The Forum cites the convictions meted out on two of its member organisations, the GOLOS Association and its regional partner, as well as the Kostroma Support Center for Civic Initiatives. The fourth NGO convicted as a “foreign agent” is the St Petersburg LGBT film festival, Side by Side. In all, the authorities have taken action against more than 40 NGOs, many of them members of the Forum.


Appeal for Solidarity with Levada Center

Levada Center

Academic freedom is under attack in Russia. Authorities have now targeted the independent research institute, Levada Center. On 15 May 2013, the prosecutor’s office of Moscow’s Savelovskaya District issued a warning to the institute, citing violations of Russia’s draconian new law on non-profit organisations.


Prosecuting the Dead

“Russia is sliding down a slippery slope into a criminal abyss,” writes David Crane, Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law. “The Magnitsky case only amplifies the distortion of the concept of freedom and democracy by the Putin regime.”

“Dissent at all levels is being quashed and legislation is being passed by a complacent Duma limiting freedom of expression and assembly. Thugs working in the Russian security services operate with impunity outside of the law — arresting, even killing, those who step forward in opposition,” Professor Crane states.

“Russia […] operates largely outside the norms of civilized society. Armed with “veto power” in the UN Security Council, and hence “protected from sanction,” Russia slides through recent history, a dangerous snake operating in the shadows and a lethal threat to the strides the international community has made in basic human rights,” he concludes.

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