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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.

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Seminar: Russia in Asian-European Context

AEPF

Russia is geographically, culturally, and politically situated in-between Europe and Asia — sometimes being included in Europe, sometimes counted as part of Asia. What challenges does this bring for Russia’s participation in civil society activities within the Asia-Europe context? What is the space in Russia for civil society movements and their participation in international NGO work?

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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.

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Face of Russian Civic Activism

Yevgenia Chirikova

The Arkadia International Bookshop in Helsinki will host a discussion with the Russian environmental and opposition activist, Yevgenia Chirikova, on Tuesday, 28 May 2013, at 3pm.

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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.

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Indigenous Peoples Organisation Shuttered

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Russia’s Ministry of Justice has ordered the closure of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia, and Far East (RAIPON), BarentsObserver reported. The ministry announced that RAIPON’s statutes were not in line with federal law. The association has twice gone to court to dispute the ministry decision, but without avail. RAIPON is now reaching out to its international partners for help. The organisation plays a central role in international cooperation among indigenous peoples and other Arctic states. The Norwegian Barents Secretariat has signed an official cooperation agreement with RAIPON.

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EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in St Petersburg

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Photo: Eric Esquivel.

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum will hold its annual general assembly on 9-10 October 2012 in St Petersburg. Following the previous conferences in Prague and Warsaw, the assembly will discuss various topics relevant to civil society actors in both Russia and the EU, evaluate the recent developments of the Forum as well as work on the further consolidation of its agenda. Among the civil-society topics, the Forum’s general assembly will discuss some of the most pressing issues such as public assembly law, LGBT rights, economic crisis and its implications, as well as ecological impact of urban development. The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) will attend the event.

For more information:

http://eu-russia-csf.org/home/102012-obshchee-sobranie-foruma/programma.html

Kremlin Tightening The Screws

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The Kremlin plans to change the rules of its puppet parliament by granting the Duma presidium and ethics commission the right to recall the mandates of deputies without a court order. According to a draft bill being prepared by deputies of the ruling United Russia party, grounds for kicking out deputies would include: repeated no-shows at Duma sessions or committee meetings, “public statements that discredit the parliament or that are of anti-state nature,” refusal to declare one’s income, and abuse of one’s diplomatic passport for private trips abroad.

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