8 April 2016
Source: HRO.org (extract)
On 6 April 2016 the Bogoraz Readings were held at the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Centre.
This conference, dedicated to issues of human rights protection, was organized by the Moscow Helsinki Group and named in honour of the linguist, journalist and Soviet-era human rights defender, Larisa Iosifovna Bogoraz. The conference had three sessions. The first was entitled 'Reform of law enforcement and the justice system: from progress to regress'. The second saw the screening of a trailer of a new documentary film about Natalya Gorbanevskaya. The third and final session was called 'New legislation: potential threats to freedoms of expression in Russia.'
'Larisa Bogoraz was one of the initiators of the creation of the Moscow Helsinki Group who attracted young people to its work, after which the Group had a powerful new impulse of renewal,' said human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko, project manager at the International Protection Centre and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, in opening the conference.
'The first time Lara came to public notice in a major way was when together with Pavel Litvinov she issued an appeal to world public opinion,' said Sergei Kovalev, chair of the Russian Memorial Society. 'At the time and for quite a long while afterwards even people who were close to us considered appeals of this kind to be complaints against our own country issued to some other instance. I would like to stress that in this appeal, and in many others to which Lara added her name, this was not the case at all. These appeals were intended to make clear that we were aware of global events, and were aware of the global guilt of our country in the very unsatisfactory development of the world situation. This was what it was about, and her courage can be seen in this.'
'The heroism of Larisa Bogoraz was amazing,' said legal expert Professor Vladimir Mironov, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. 'She spoke of her what she did on 25 August 1968 as though it was nothing out of the ordinary, and did not consider herself to be a hero. She could not have behaved differently. I admit I could not have done that. Now also, I think, the reasons for doing actions of this kind is increasing.' [...]
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