Russia’s silence factory: New report documents the Kremlin’s crackdown on free speech and democracy ahead of the 2021 Parliamentary elections

The Russian authorities deploy significant efforts to portray Russia as a functioning democracy, and to position its system of governance as a viable alternative to liberal democracy. At the same time, the Kremlin continues to rely on foreign trade and investment. Consequently, it is vital to document and expose the consequences of the ongoing crackdown as evidence of the Kremlin’s disregard for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

This report by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) documents the Russian leadership’s crackdown on free speech and democracy ahead of the 2021 Parliamentary elections and ensuing human rights violations.

Furthermore, it aims to draw the international community’s attention to the pre-election crackdown and the shrinking civic space in Russia, and secure international support for Russian human rights defenders and independent media.

To this end, IPHR makes the following recommendations to the international community:

  • Denounce the actions of the Russian authorities publicly, in diplomatic exchanges, meetings and at international conferences;
  • Recognise those targeted by the authorities as victims of repressions and political prisoners;
  • Assist and support Russian human rights defenders, independent media organisations, human rights lawyers and pro-democracy advocates;
  • Ban all exports of technology to Russia which may be used to suppress fundamental freedoms (such as face recognition software, spyware, malware, CCTV equipment);
  • Restrict all trade with companies, entities and individuals connected to the crackdown and agencies implicated in its implementation;
  • Apply targeted sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for ordering, directing, implementing, encouraging or facilitating the crackdown on free speech and democracy in Russia;
  • Encourage and incentivise Russian authorities to reverse the trend towards authoritarianism through trade and investment opportunities.

Read the report here.