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Committee Against Torture

Committee Against Torture (CAT)


The Committee Against Torture (CAT) – is a prominent human rights organisation in Russia. Established in 2000, it investigates 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 assists victims of torture in obtaining compensation and provides them with medical rehabilitation support. Based on its casework and research, it publishes information on the systemic barriers to effective investigation and prosecution of torture in Russia. After the Ministry of Justice of Russia added the Committee Against Torture to the register of ‘foreign agents’ in January 2015, the organisation was dissolved. The successor of CAT, the Committee for Prevention of Torture, was added to the register of ‘foreign agents’ a year later. The CAT is currently operating under its original name.


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.