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Valentin Karelin

HRD & Founder
Save the Krylatskie Hills!

Valentin Karelin is one of the founders of the district environmental movement "Save the Krylatskie Hills!" and a human rights lawyer who defends interests of local residents of the Krylatskoye district, Moscow. Valentin Karelin provides legal assistance to municipal deputies and public activists and local environmental activists, who are fighting for the preservation of the local park and who are protesting against illegal actions of the tenant company of the protected natural area "Krylatsky Hills". Also Valentin Karelin represents the interests of the inhabitants of the Potapovo village, who are dissatisfied with the curtailment of their territory and the unauthorized installation of barriers.

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.