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DOXA is a Russian student journal that writes about issues related to universities and academia, and extensively covers the political persecution of students, namely for their participation in peaceful rallies, and the issue of sexual harassment in universities. DOXA works to defend the rights of persecuted students through publicity, broadcasting from courtrooms and conducting investigations into the students cases. The journal was created by students and alumni of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2017, however was stripped of its status of a student organization in 2019 and now operates as an independent magazine. In cooperation with OVD-info, an independent media project focused on human rights and political persecution, DOXA provides assistance to students who are detained for their participation in peaceful protests in Russian cities or in connection with these protests, including recent protests in support of Alexei Navalny in 2021. DOXA has extensively advocated for the rights of students in relation to quarantine restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including evictions from hostels, orders preventing students from leaving their university accommodation, and unreasonable fines.


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.