Memorial publishes a report on political repressions in Russia in 2021
By 2022, political persecution in Russia has reached unprecedented levels, and in the future the situation will only worsen
We are publishing the English version of Memorial Human Rights Centre’s annual report Political Prisoners and Political Repression in Russia in 2021. A lot has changed since March 2022, when the Russian version of this report was published: Memorial Human Rights Centre was shut down, and now we are operating as an independent human rights project Support of Political Prisoners. Memorial.
Here, we outline the most prominent repressive trends and policies of the Russian authorities, highlight key criminal cases and look into how new practices of political repression have been emerging while old ones have been transforming over time.
On February 24, 2022 the world changed irreversibly. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn the attention of the whole world to the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people, their egregious suffering, and grave violations of human rights on the Ukrainian territories. Information on human rights violations in other countries inevitably fades into the background.
Nonetheless, we believe it necessary to publish this report.
Over many years, political repressions in Russia have been intensifying, the number of political prisoners have been growing, repressive legislation has been tightening, and any independent civil society initiatives have been suppressed. Now we know why.
The consistent crackdown on dissent in Russia has made possible what is happening in Ukraine today. The Report notes that “a listing of only the more prominent law enforcement and legislative trends gives the impression that these are clearly excessive in terms of the regime’s current needs to maintain itself in power”. Now it is evident that all this was a prelude to what the Russian authorities cynically call a “special operation”.
In our report, we write that 2021 was “the worst year in the history of independent Russia from the human rights perspective”. Unfortunately, we have every reason to believe that 2022 will be even worse.