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Zoya Svetova

HRD & Journalist
Open Russia

Zoya Svetova is a Russian human rights defender specialised in the rights of prisoners. Until November 2016, she had been part of the Public Oversight Commission, reviewing the conditions of detention centres in the Russian Federation. Zoya Svetova is a human rights journalist and has collaborated with numerous media outlets, covering the rights of prisoners and human rights abuses more generally. She currently works on prisoners’ rights with the Open Russia foundation, which was founded by exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Zoya Svetova is the daughter of the famous Soviet dissidents, Zoya Khrakhmalnikova and Felix Svetov, who both experienced imprisonment under the Soviet Union.

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.