Following an arson attack on the office of the human rights group Memorial in Ingushetia by two unidentified men, Freedom House released the following statement:
“Russia is waging a campaign to silence Memorial in the North Caucasus and use intimidation to end the work of human rights defenders – in effect waging war against fundamental freedoms,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Eurasia and Europe programs at Freedom House. “This firebombing of the office in Ingushetia is clearly linked to the detention last week of Oyub Titiyev, leader of Memorial’s office in Chechnya, on trumped-up charges. The Russian authorities should release Titiyev, investigate this attack, and ensure the safety of human rights defenders in the North Caucasus.”
Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2017, and receives a democracy score of 6.57, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2017.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.