HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Senators Explore Human Rights Troubles in Russia

Senators Explore Human Rights Troubles in Russia

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week heard from a panel concerned with the human rights situation in Russia. The hearing, titled “A Dangerous Slide Backwards: Russia's Deteriorating Human Rights Situation,” featured the testimony of a number of foreign policy experts from the Council on Foreign Relations, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Amnesty International. In addition, Boris Nemtsov, a high official during the Yeltsin Administration and now Co-Chairman of the Republican Party of Russia-People's Freedom Party, also testified.

Ambassador Stephen Sestanovich, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for the former Soviet Union, observed:

Over the past year and a half President Putin and his supporters have put in place a new strategy to re-stabilize their rule after the protest of 2011-2012. One key element of their strategy is to portray challengers to the status quo as instruments of foreign manipulation. This was Mr. Putin’s first rhetorical jab at those who demonstrated against fraud in the parliamentary elections of December 2011. (It was Hillary Clinton, he claimed, who had ordered them into the streets.) The same impulse lives on in the new law requiring Russian NGO’s to register as “foreign agents” if they receive any part of their funding from abroad. There are some puzzling elements of Putin’s strategy, but his political calculation is pretty obvious. He hopes to benefit by blurring the distinction between political movements and civil society.

Last year, Congress approved legislation known as The Magnitsky Act, which would deny Russian human rights violators visas to enter the U.S. and would provide authority for U.S. officials to freeze their assets.  The Magnitsky Act is named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and whistleblower who was allegedly tortured and died in prison three years ago.

In addition, NRB denounced the demolition of an evangelical Christian church in Moscow last year.

Find testimony and other resources from this hearing here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 14, 2013

Latest News

Congressional Leadership Updates

Last week, Members of Congress returned to Washington for the first time since the momentous mid-term elections on November 4.

Abedini Spotlighted as Iran Negotiations Continue

With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States approaching their November 24 deadline, Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)...

Congressman Dingell to Receive Medal of Freedom

Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving Member of Congress in U.S. history and a former Chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Monday.

New STELA Bill Approved by Congress

With provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset at the end of this year, the Congress this week introduced a new version of a bill to extend that law for another five years and then fast-tracked its approval.

Passes to the NRB 2015 Exposition Are Free; Register Today!

The NRB Exposition is the largest marketplace dedicated to Christian media professionals. And in case you haven’t heard yet, there is no charge for entering the Exhibit Hall at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Early Bird Rates for NRB15 Registration Extended to Nov. 30

Due to popular demand, the Early Bird discounted rate for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention has been extended through Sunday, November 30, 2014.

NRB Against Internet Power Grab

President Barack Obama released a statement this week urging the FCC to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

North Korea Releases American Missionary

After over two years of detention, the communist regime in North Korea released Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, along with another U.S. citizen, Matthew Todd Miller.

March for Life Wants Pastors to Come to Washington

Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, has reached out to pastors nationwide inviting them to come with members of their congregations to Washington, DC, in January for the annual pro-life march.

Pew Report Shows Growing Use of Online Media by Voters

A survey released by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans are relying more and more on mobile phones and social media for learning election news and information.

More News