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Sergey Babinets

HRD, Human Rights Lawyer
Committee Against Torture

Sergey Babinets is a human rights lawyer working with the Russian-based NGO “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. Human rights defenders from CAT have been subjected to defamation campaigns, physical attacks, detentions, and judicial persecution because of their peaceful human rights work.

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.