Crude Accountability Condemns Ugly Efforts to Defame Russian Environmentalist Andrey Rudomakha

Crude Accountability joins other civil society organizations and members of the Civic Solidarity Platform condemning the recent ugly attempts to assassinate the character of Andrey Rudomakha, coordinator of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus, Russia.

We demand that the Russian authorities go after those who are harassing him, and stop the repression of Rudomakha and other members of the organization.

We as members of the Civic Solidarity Platform state our solidarity with and support for Andrey Rudomakha and all members of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

The statement of the Civic Solidarity Platform can be viewed here (PDF), here (web), and below.

Statement of the Civic Solidarity Platform

Civic Solidarity Platform Condemns the Recent Defamation of Andrey Rudomakha, Russian Environmentalist

September 25, 2019

We, members of the Civic Solidarity Platform, condemn the recent efforts to defame the character of Andrey Rudomakha, coordinator of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

On September 19, 2019, anonymous posters claiming that Andrey Rudomakha is a pedophile were plastered around the city of Krasnodar, Russia. These posters also included libelous information about Environmental Watch. The posters contained photographs of Rudomakha, and included his home address.  We are concerned that this information will result in additional threats to Rudomakha and other members of Environmental Watch, including physical violence.

This is an obvious and disgusting attempt to assassinate Rudomakha’s character and is extremely troubling, particularly following the raids of Environmental Watch’s office early in the morning on September 12, July 30, and April 9, 2019 by the authorities, carrying automatic weapons and wearing balaclavas. In both the July and April raids, equipment, including computers, flash drives, and mobile phones were confiscated, as well as the organization’s files. Members of EWNC, including Rudomakha, were treated brutally by those who raided the office, and damage was done to the door and furniture. These are only the raids that happened this year; serious harassment of the organization has been ongoing for at least the past ten years.

On December 28, 2017, Andrey Rudomakha was brutally beaten by masked attackers as he returned from an environmental inspection. Rudomakha spent over two weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries, which included a fractured skull, concussion, a broken nose, and severe dental damage. His attackers remain at large even though the incident was recorded on EWNC’s security camera and provided to the police. 

On January 9, 2018, less than two weeks following the attack, Rudomakha and Environmental Watch’s deputy director, Dmitry Shevchenko, received death threats sent by email from the address smertrudomakhe@nullgmail.com.

At the same time that these posters were placed around Krasnodar, an anonymous petition was circulated on Change.org, requesting signatures to remove Rudomakha from the environmental council of the Governor of Krasnodar Krai.

The most recent libelous statements about Andrey are a violation of his rights, including his right to privacy, life, and right to freedom of association. This latest effort at character assassination places Rudomakha once again at great risk of personal violence and must be stopped.

We demand that the Russian authorities provide protection to Rudomakha, go after those who are harassing him, and stop the repression of Rudomakha and other members of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

We call on the international community to demand respect for human rights among environmental and human rights defenders by the authorities in the Russian Federation and throughout the OSCE region.

We as members of the Civic Solidarity Platform state our solidarity with and support for Andrey Rudomakha and all members of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus.

Signed,

1.         Kate Watters, Crude Accountability, USA

2.         Yuri Dzhibladze, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Russia

3.         Giorgi Marjanishvili, Center for Participation and Development, Georgia

4.         Ivar Dale, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

5.         Uranija Pirovska, Macedonian Helsinki Committee

6.         Mushegh Yekmalyan, World Organization Against Torture OMCT, Armeni

7.         Tatyana Zinovich, Legal Policy Research Centre, Kazakhstan

8.         Erika Leonaite, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Lithuania

9.         Sergei Davidis, HRC Memorial, Russia

10.       Andrea Menapace, CILD, Italy

11.       Krassimir Kanev, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

12.       Pepijn Gerrits, Netherlands Helsinki Committee

13.       Tolekan Ismailova, Human Rights Movement, Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan

14.       Anna Schreilechner, Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit (ZARA), Austria

15.       Matthias Hui, humanrights.ch, Switzerland

16.       Ales Bialiatski, Human Rights Center “Vesna,” Belarus

17.       Svetlana Astrakhantseva, Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia

18.       Avetik Ishkhanyan, Helsinki Committee of Armenia

19.       Tim Bohse and Stefan Melle, DRA, Germany

20.       Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law

21.       Alex Postica, Promo LEX, Moldova

22.       Lenur Kerymov, HFHR, Poland

23.       Rasul Jafarov, Human Rights Center, Azerbaijan

24.       Brigitte Dufour, International Partnership for Human Rights, Belgium

25.       Elena Shakhova, Citizens’ Watch, Russia

26.       Oleksandra Matviychuk, Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine

27.       Natalia Taubina, Public Verdict, Russia

28.       Valentina Cherevatenko, Women of the Don, Russia

29.       Sardar Bagishbekov, Public Foundation Golos Svobody, Kyrgyzstan

30.       Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, Armenia

31.       Alexander Verkhovsky, Sova Center, Russia

32.       Anara Ibrayeva, Public Association Dignity, Kazakhstan

33.       Olga Romanenko, The Barys Zvozsku Belarusian Human Rights House, Lithuania