ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Anti-rights activists in Russia gathered more than 900,000 signatures to petition President Vladimir Putin to pass a law criminalizing all abortions. The activists received support from the powerful head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. In Moscow, for the eighth year in a row, the campaign “For Life” hosted the “International Festival for Social Techniques to Protect Family Values,” which included anti-abortion groups from Spain, Serbia, Italy and Russia.   

Lastly, Human Rights Watch reports that Russian feminist activists were harassed by the police and Cossacks. Several activists travelling to a feminist gathering in the Black Sea region were intercepted by the police and arbitrarily detained. Several hours later they were released without charges, but asked to sign a document acknowledging that they were carrying out “extremist activity.” According to HRW, “Cossacks, who identify themselves as a separate ethnic group in Russia, are known to maintain militia groups.” They often harass activists from socially progressive organizations.

Source: Ipas