Sutyajnik – A Brief Introduction
What are we? SUTYAJNIK is a non-governmental human rights organization founded in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 1994. Sutyajnik is a human rights resource center that helps citizens and organizations realize rights guaranteed in the Russian Constitution and international treaties by litigating public interest cases, educating in human rights, and informing the public about the mechanisms for human rights protection. One of Sutyajnik’s principal goals is to defend human rights by working to bring domestic legislation and practice into conformity with international and constitutional standards in the following areas:
freedom of association;
rights of minorities and discrimination;
freedom from torture;
freedoms from unlawful detention, arrest, and forced medical treatment;
freedom of expression;
freedom of religion;
other rights and freedoms.
Who are we? SUTYAJNIK is a group of lawyers and senior law students dedicated to protecting the traditional areas of human rights. Sutyajnik was founded in 1994 by Sergei Beliaev, who remains its president.
SUTYAJNIK’S Supervisory Board:
Tatyana Merzlyakova, Human Rights Ombudsman for Sverdlovsk oblast
Ludmila Alexeeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group;
Demyan Bakhrakh, Professor of Law, pro-rector of the Ural Institute of Economy, Management and Law;
Kathryn Hendley, Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School;
William Anspach, partner in the union-side labor law firm Friedman & Wolf;
Irene Stevenson, Field Representative, Solidarity Center / AFL-CIO in Central Asia
What do we do? SUTYAJNIK carries out its mission by:
Providing legal aid by telephone, at public walk-in centers, via the internet;
Providing registration and other legal resource services to NGOs in the Urals region;
Representing individuals and NGOs in judicial and administrative forums in both strategic public interest litigation and conventional cases;
Conducting public issue campaigns and lobbying;
Sponsoring legal seminars and conferences;
Providing clinical legal education by supervising law students who consult and represent clients in strategic and conventional cases;
Operating a news agency for human rights NGOs;
Challenging legislative and administrative enactments in the Russian courts;
Preparing and litigating cases in the European Court of Human Rights.
Who is supporting and has supported us in the past? The following organizations: American Center for International Labor Solidarity, USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, Eurasia Foundation, Know-How Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Institute of International Education, Open Society Institute-Moscow, Open Society Institute-Budapest, John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Civil Liberties Foundation, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the European Council, European Commission, etc.