Human rights
are not to be
kicked around!

Sign the Unkickaball and help free those
who fight for human rights

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The number of people supporting the fight for human rights

Russia is now becoming the venue of FIFA World Cup 2018. Unfortunately, the ball is not the only thing that is being kicked around in this country. Help unveiling the true face of Russia and stopping the persecution of the human rights defenders.

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Introducing UNKICKABALL

video story

These are the rights that are being kicked around in current Russia

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This is how the freedom of speech is being kicked around in Russia

The Russian authorities have introduced a number of restrictive measures to crack down on the freedom of expression online, including blocking of websites, banning Internet resources from “spreading information about unsanctioned mass events” and banning VPN. Recent laws require websites to store user data on Russian citizens in Russia. Anti-extremism legislation with overly broad provisions was further expanded and used to undermine the right to freedom of expression. Artistic expression was also restricted under pressure from conservative groups that regard specific artistic productions as an offence to their religious belief.

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This is how the freedom of assembly is being kicked around in Russia

Although there are thousands of football fans being currently assembled in Russia, authorities have increasingly restricted the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in an attempt to silence critical voices. The authorities demonstrate little tolerance of any public assembly that conveys messages that openly defy government authorities, proclaims views they do not support or takes place without express permission. In the-run up to the 2018 presidential elections many peaceful protests were disrupted while bystanders and journalists were arrested. Among those arrested, many were subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, prolonged arbitrary detention and unfair trials resulting in heavy fines and “administrative detention” for several days.

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This is how the freedom of association is being kicked around in Russia

The so-called “foreign agents” law and the law on “undesirable organizations”, both signed into law by President Putin in July 2012 and May 2015 respectively, have led to a total of 170 organizations being declared “foreign agents” and 14 organizations declared “undesirable”. This repression has targeted the most active and vocal civil society actors in Russia and has significantly undermined their ability to carry out their work. Although most of the affected organizations re-grouped and continued their work, they have borne a significant cost. Meanwhile, many organizations listed as “foreign agents” were forced to shut down or stopped accepting foreign funding, which has depleted their budgets. What is more, any cooperation or even association with these organizations is illegal. As the cases of prominent NGOs, SOVA Centre and the Centre for Independent Sociological Research (CISR) and nine other NGOs illustrated in late 2017, even having hyperlinks to “undesirable” organizations on one’s website is considered illegal and can lead to prosecution and steep fines.

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This is how the freedom of the press is being kicked around in Russia

Foreign-registered independent media and Russian-language media registered abroad are targeted by the “foreign agents” media law, signed by President Putin in late November 2017. The law enables the government to impose onerous reporting requirements on media outlets and “information distributors” considered to be “foreign agents” and obliges them to mark their outputs in Russia with this toxic branding. This represents yet another assault on media pluralism: a situation where almost all media outlets are effectively state controlled, or feel compelled to self-censor.

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This is how the right to a fair trial is being kicked around in Russia

A worrying trend observed in the past years has been the trumped-up charges against human rights defenders and civil society activists. The case of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Memorial’s office in Grozny, is a prime example. In January 2018, he was arrested on trumped-up drug charges, clearly intended to silence him and disrupt the activities of Memorial. The violations of the right to a fair trial reported by independent trial monitors at criminal and administrative hearings leave little hope that these and other cases will receive a fair hearing in court.

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This is how the right to liberty and security is being kicked around in Russia

Critical journalists, human rights defenders and civil society activists are often subjected to attacks, intimidation and harassment, yet such cases almost never lead to an effective investigation. Nine years on, the abduction and murder of prominent human rights defender, Natalia Estemirova, remains unsolved and that those suspected to be responsible have not been brought to justice. Similarly, there has been no effective investigation into the multiple attacks against the Joint Mobile Group and its leader Igor Kaliapin. Those who perpetrated these crimes have enjoyed complete impunity. The failure of the Russian authorities to respond amounts to their complicity and allows such acts to continue.

Personalities who signed the Unkickaball

These people already helped freeing
the human rights defenders

Sign the Unkickaball and help free
those who fight for human rights

„By signing the Unkickaball I request to put an immediate stop to persecution of Irina Maslova and to release Igor Rundikov and Oyub Titiev from prison unconditionally.“

Thank you

Call attention to human rights violation in Russia
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What’s going to happen with your signature

Petition for freeing Irina Maslova and Igor Rudnikov will be sent to high-ranking state officials in Russia. Thus your signatures will really increase the chances to stop the persecution of Irina Maslova and the imprisonment of Igor Rudnikov. About the third of our petitions win the freedom for wrongfully imprisoned or lead to some other positive changes in their cases.
The signatures will become part of a permanent public exhibition where it will serve as a constant reminder that we stood up together to protect the human rights, and wont tolerate that they should be kicked around.