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SOVA Centre

The SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis

The SOVA Centre for Information and Analysis is a Moscow-based think tank that was founded in October 2002 with the mission of promoting human rights and liberal democracy through monitoring, advocacy and research. The Sova Centre works to document and advocate against nationalism, xenophobia and racism as well as anti-extremism legislation, religion in a secular society, and political radicalism.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation have been subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, violent attacks, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment.

Among the HRDs who are particularly at risk are those involved on issues such as election monitoring, the situation in the North Caucasus (particularly Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan), xenophobia and nationalism, and LGBTI rights. Environmental rights defenders have been particularly exposed to physical and verbal attacks in recent years. Those expressing criticism of the authorities or attempting to organise protests are also routinely targeted.