Monday, July 6, 2009

Obama Dives Into Russian Civil Society

Among the stops President Obama will make on his historical trip to Russia will be meetings with prominent Russian civil society activists.

Allison Gill, Human Rights Watch's Russia office director, acknowledges the importance of this move in the face of recent governmental crackdowns on civic activists and journalists.
"President Medvedev has signaled that he is ready to strengthen civil society and support human rights and freedoms, and this should be a good starting point for the two presidents to talk about human rights. The talk of reform is good, but the situation itself is worrisome."

Human Rights Watch also reports that, "President Dmitry Medvedev recently indicated that he was willing to ease restrictions on nongovernmental organizations. He has proposed amendments to restrictive laws to simplify registration procedures for some of these groups, and to decrease the frequency of government inspections. But much more needs to be done to address the decline of civic freedoms and the risk to activists."

The ReGenerates will keep you posted in the days ahead.

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