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

Senator Roy Blunt Receives NRB Faith & Freedom Award

At its annual Capitol Hill Media Summit this week, NRB presented the 2015 Faith & Freedom Award to Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Commissioner Pai Addresses NRB President’s Council

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai addressed the NRB President’s Council at its annual Capitol Hill Media Summit this week.

Leading Senator Pushes Against FCC Exclusivity Plan

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who may well become the Senate Democrat Leader in the next Congress, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week urging him to reverse course on a move to eliminate network non­duplication and syndication exclusivity rules.

Focus on the Family’s 'Plugged In' Switches to Daily Format

Focus on the Family’s Plugged In feature, anchored by veteran culture analyst Bob Waliszewski, has switched to a daily minute-long format, expanding from two days to every weekday.

'The Book' Launches on 300+ Radio Outlets Nationwide

The Book, a new feature program from Museum of the Bible, launched this week on a record number of stations, reaching a million listeners in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam.

Invest in the Future of Christian Media and Your Organization! Sponsor iNRB!

For those who want to invest in and gain exposure in front of the next generation of Christian media professionals, there are unique opportunities available through the intercollegiate arm of NRB.

Millions Unite for The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem

Millions of Christians united globally for The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) this past Sunday, including the hundreds gathered in the historic Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem

Newton Media Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Founded in 1995 by Steve Newton, who desired to provide better media service for clients in both the faith-based and DRTV space, Newton Media has grown significantly over the years with offices now in Chesapeake, VA; Dallas, TX; and Cave Creek, AZ.

Constitutionality of Internet Authority Transfer Questioned

Four key Members of Congress are asking questions about the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s plan to transition Internet oversight authority to a private stakeholder group.

Librarian of Congress Exits

Late last week, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington made a surprise announcement that he intended to resign his post effective September 30 rather than at the end of the year, as he had declared in June.

More News