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Assistance to Detainees in St. Petersburg

The group "Assistance to detainees in St. Petersburg" or "Assistance Group for Detainees", (GPZ) is a non-political volunteer organization that provides legal, material and moral assistance to people detained at public peaceful events. the members of the group observe the courts and police departments, prepare petitions and other documents, bring in fines and transfers, write complaints and receive calls from detainees and victims from the police, also they provide the delivery of food and personal hygiene products for detainees to the places of detention (pre-trial detention cells and etc.). The activity of the group is aimed to support the Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which affirms the right of Russian citizens to conduct peaceful public events.


The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation is difficult, especially for those who defend and promote the rights of LGBTI people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, as well as activists of the North Caucasus and the unlawfully annexed Crimean Peninsula. HRDs are often subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threat, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. There have also been cases where HRDs have been murdered as a result of their work.