Chairman: Boris Altshuler
Volunteer staff: Oksana Glazman, Emma Ogarysheva, Inna Singal
Public Council on Secrecy Refusniks: Leonid Paperno Raya Kharitonova, Aleksandr Kaganov
Founded in 1992, Movement Without Frontiers works to secure the right to freedom of movement for those wishing to immigrate from the former Soviet Union. They also provide assistance to internal refugees fleeing Ďhot spotsí around Russia. The majority of their cases deal with secrecy refusniks -- those refused permission to immigrate because they know state secrets.
In 1993, Russia created a special commission to hear the cases of secrecy refusniks. Commission included prominent human rights activists such as Vyacheslav Bakhmin and Sergei Kovalev. In two and a half years, the commission has heard about 600 cases, of which 95% have been granted permission to leave. Valery Abramkin, President of the organization noted:
In 1993, according to the new laws, any citizen can appeal to UVIR for a foreign passport without invitation. Now the military industry of Russia was about 70% of all industry, so you can imagine how many people were involved. The military complex is smaller now, but it is still perhaps the greatest threat to Russian democracy right now. They donít want reform. They want a big budget like before. All the people who used to work there now are applying for foreign passports.The official number of secrecy refusniks is estimated to be about 6,000 (the number provided by chief of UVIR). Movement Without Frontiers currently deals with 87 cases, seven of which are secrecy refusniks.
The organizationís work with internal refugees has dramatically increased in the past few years. The group assists with filing asylum applications and locating temporary housing and support. Abramkin observed:
We deal with Armenians here in Moscow who are victims of horrible pogroms. Most of them have already left now, but there are still about 20,000 who are still here. Russia cannot take them. We have too many people and too many problems right now. The attitude of Russians toward these refugees is terrible. Even their attitude toward Russian refugees is terrible.In 1994, the office had 1,394 visitors. Of these visitors, over 200 refusniks were given assistance in preparing documents, making contacts and developing legal cases. The organization has received funding and support from a number of international groups, including the Norwegian Committee for Jews in the USSR (now CIS), the American Committee for Jews, and the Union of Councils.
The NIS Third Sector Organization section is based on information found in the print edition of "The Post-Soviet Handbook." For more information on the Handbook and instructions on how to order, see our
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