TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [April 2019]

Ukrainian human rights activist Andrei Yarovoy, illegally imprisoned by the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic", was honoured for his contribution to human rights and community development at Harm Reduction International conference (Photo:  ECUO)

(На русском)

1. On the eve of the International Harm reduction conference in Porto, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association issued a position paper regarding the Ministerial Declaration recently adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. This Declaration has been signed by all UN-member states and will define the character of drug policy in the next 10 years in the world, as well as in EECA region.  The full text of “A Declaration of Madness”, the EHRA’s position paper, is available here in English.

 

2. During the Harm Reduction Conference in Porto, Andrey Yarovoy, a drug user activist from Ukraine, was awarded the International Travis and Carol Jenkins Award for his contribution to human rights protection and community development. Andrey has been imprisoned for eight months by the so-called “Luhansk People's Republic” (LPR) in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine defines LPR as a terrorist group. Watch a video about Andrey here (Eng).

 

3. The International Rolleston Award has been awarded to the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for their contribution to harm reduction development at international level. Watch video of the award ceremony here (Eng).

 

4. The first overdose prevention site (also known as a drug consumption room) in the EECA has opened in Sumy, Ukraine. Read more at TalkingDrugs (Rus).

 

5. A new research initiative, Project S-O-S, was launched in Kyrgyzstan, focusing on innovative approaches to opioid overdose prevention. Read in more detail here (Eng).

 

6. Activist from the civic campaign group, Legalize Belarus, presented a documentary “Narcotization and authoritarianism”. The movie touches upon the use of Article 328 in Belarus’ Criminal Code which outlines harsh prison conditions for people who use drugs. Watch the full movie here (Eng subs).

 

7.  A seminar on providing social support for women who use drugs was held in Ekaterinburgh, Russia. It was organised by Women’s Hope, a centre for social assistance. The seminar was held for NGO representatives from nine regions of Russia. Read in detail here (Rus).

 

8. Russia is leading Europe by its number of inmates. The most common reason for incarceration is drug offences, the newspaper Vedomosti reports (Rus).

 

9. Kultrab, in collaboration with the artists 9suka, presented a new fashion collection in support of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation. To buy collection items and set up regular monthly donation for ARF visit Kultrab web-site (Eng).

 

10. The region of Abkhazia – an area in Georgia, recognised by Russia (and some other countries) as an independent state – have introduced life sentences and the death penalty for drug trafficking offences, Ekho Kavkaza reports (Rus). 

 

11. As of 2019, opioid substitution therapy programmes in Belarus have turned 12 years. Radio Liberty made a report about life of OST patients in Belarus (Rus).