Natalya Taubina receives Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

posted 12 Oct 2015, 03:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Oct 2015, 03:55 ]
9 October 2015 

Source: (info)
The Russian human rights defender, director of the Public Verdict Foundation Natalya Taubina, has become the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

The Robert F. Kennedy Award has been made annually since 1984. Its founders stated that the award is for individuals who stand up to oppression at grave personal risk in the nonviolent pursuit of human rights.

Announcing the award, Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, said: "Natalia’s work represents the kind of leadership and courage needed to confront police brutality from Moscow to the streets of Ferguson and Staten Island. It is an honour to recognize Natalia and her organization.”

Natalia is the Director of the Public Verdict Foundation in Russia and is being recognized for her work to hold law enforcement agents accountable for human rights violations and support victims of torture in Russia. The Public Verdict Foundation litigates on behalf of citizens wrongfully arrested, beaten, tortured, and illegally detained by police. Natalia is also a powerful advocate for police reform.

In 2013, the Russian government categorized the foundation as a “foreign agent”under a new law intended to publicly invalidate, shame, and render inoperable organizations with international ties. Natalia's organization has resolutely fought this label in court and is committed to protecting human rights despite the government’s attempt to shut down civil society groups.

Natalia was selected from a group of 86 nominees over a months-long process by a prestigious panel of judges.

“We are very proud to receive this award. It is very symbolic for us. Respect for civil rights and human dignity were important values for Robert F. Kennedy; these values guide our work as well,” said Natalia Taubina. “This recognition of our work is especially important today when civil society in Russia is under unprecedented pressure. The climate in which we now operate is hostile like never before. But victims of abuse in Russia need us, and we are not going to abandon them.”

NB The above is largely a republication of an original announcement by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, published HERE. Published with due acknowledgement to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.