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Committee Against Torture

Committee against Torture (CAT)


Committee Against Torture (CAT) – was a prominent human rights organisation in Russia. Established in 2000, it investigated allegations of torture by state agents and represents victims’ of torture interests in the investigative bodies and the court, including the European Court of Human Rights in cases where domestic remedies are ineffective. The CAT also assisted victims of torture in obtaining compensation and provides them with medical rehabilitation support. Based on its casework and research, it published information on the systemic barriers to effective investigation and prosecution of torture in Russia. Human rights defenders who used to work with CAT were regularly subjected to defamation campaigns, physical attacks, detentions, and judicial persecution because of their peaceful human rights work.

SInce 2012 Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation listed CAT as foreign agents 4 times, causing the organization to rebrand and reorganize. On 10 June 2022, The Ministry of Justice of Russia included Committee Against Torture in the list of the unregistered public associations operating as foreign agents. On June, 11 the members of the Committee decided to liquidate the organisation.


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.