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HRD Yan Dvorkin

Yan Dvorkin

HRD, Psychologist.
Centre T

Yan Dvorkin is a human rights defender and psychologist. He is the founder and the Head of Centre T, a Moscow-based human rights group, that provides various types of assistance to trans*gender and non-binary persons all across Russian Federation. Centre T also supports relatives and people close to members of the community. The human rights group works on the issues of gender-affirming surgeries and legal gender recognition in Russia, offers psychological, legal and social support, functions as a community organising space, and overall provides mutliple resources to trans*gender and non-binary communities. In his capacity as a trans*gender and non-binary friendly psychologist, Yan Dvorkin also offers leadership and education opportunities to psychologists and well-being professionals on the issues of trans* and nonbinary sensitivity.

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.

The anti-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation amended in 2016 authorises law enforcement agencies and special police to infringe on political and civil rights, as well as on the right to privacy of HRDs. At the same time, the authorities frequently fail to impartially and thoroughly investigate criminal offences perpetrated against HRDs and independent journalists, which is also abetted by the extreme corruption of the Russian judicial system and its non-compliance with international standards of justice and rule of law.