Nizhnii Novgorod Society for Human Rights

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 80
Nizhnii Novgorod 603122
Visiting address/Newspaper publication:
Okskii S'ezd 2, Room 122
Nizhnii Novgorod 603022
Tel: (8312) 39-08-95
Tel/Fax: (8312) 30-07-14, 30-39-98
Contact: Sergei Shimovolos, President and Editor; Victor Gurskii, Secretary and Editor
Director of Public Reception (Walk-in consultation): Tatyana Speranskaya
Information Analytical Center: Nina Tagankina, Director; I. Kalyapin, Coordinator
Pravo-Zaschita Editor-in-Chief: Dmitrii Demin

A rights-protection group was formed in 1990 and became the first rights-protection group in the Volga region. In 1993 the group formed the public association The Nizhnii Novgorod Province Society for Human Rights. The society includes members of various rights-protection organizations including the International Society for Human Rights in Germany and Amnesty International and the Association of Victims of Political Reprisal.

Nizhny Novgorod Society for Human Rights
The main activities of the society are protection of the rights and freedom of man, education of the public, and participation in charitable action. These activities are carried out through a variety of programs:

  1. Prisoner's rights, prison and judicial reform. Since 1992, the organization has cooperated with the center "Assistance for Reform of Criminal Justice" and participated in the development and implementation of its projects and programs. In 1993, under the initiative of the Society, a regional observation committee was created. In 1995, the Society created a trustee council of the most active organizations in the area which gave assistance to prisoners. Representatives of the Society visit prisons which have received complaints and conduct consultations on legal problems. In 1997, the Society and the trustee council are carrying out a joint-project on the deprivation of freedom in the Nizhnii Novgorod area.
  2. Education. The Society issues the paper Pravo-Zaschita (Right Protection) which is distributed among rights-protection organizations and the people of Nizhnii Novgorod. The members of the Society annually carry out education seminars and round tables on various themes. The members of the Society frequently partcipate in broadcasts to educate the general public. Since 1994, the Society has been operating a program "Small Library" providing prisoners with books (it has loaned more than six thousand books to date).
  3. Defense of young men called to their mandatory military service including protection for those seeking alternative military service. Since 1990 the members of the organization have protected young people, called to military service, who preferred an alternative service on the motives of conscientious objection. In 1995, the Society formed the Peacemaking Group, which also has an anti-violence character. Together with the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, the members of the Society participate in the protection of military men against violence in all forms.

    Tatyana Speranskaya,
    Consultation Director.
  4. Legal help for citizens. Since 1994, the Society has accepteded walk-in consultations from the citizens of Nizhnii Novgorod. Up to 100 letters come to the Society monthly, and the telephone operates in the mode of a "hot line." Consultations are carried out on the topic of infringement on human rights and drawing up applications and petitions to state organizations on these matters. Members of the Society participate in judicial arguments. Since 1995, the Society has help prepare applications and petitions on infringement on citizen rights which used International law including the UN Commission on Human Rights and the IOW Committee.
  5. Analytical Activity and Legal Critiques Members of the Society act as experts in the preparation of both regional and federal bills. In 1996 a database of Russian noncommercial organizations which work in the area of human rights was created.
  6. Special Initiatives. During the Chechen conflict the Society twice seat observers to the battle zone. The collected materials were widely distributed in the local mass-media. The members of the Society have consistently participated as observers in elections in the Nizhnii Novgorod region, including the federal elections. Members of the Society actively participate in assistance programs for refugees and rehabilitation of victims of political reprisals.

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 Post Soviet Handbook Information page.

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Center for Civil Society International
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Last updated: November 13, 1997