TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [June 2019]
1. The Ukrainian Parliament’s June 6 review of the draft law on medical and scientific cannabis use was postponed. Details of the draft law are explained by Hromadske (Rus). On June 15, activists and patients’ groups held a street action demanding legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine. Video available here (Rus).
2. On June 7 Ivan Golunov, a Russian investigative journalist from “Meduza” media outlet was arrested in Moscow on suspicion of intent to supply mephedrone. His attorney has claimed that the drug was planted into Gulonov’s bag and that Gulonov had been physically assaulted by the police. Further details available here (Rus) and here: “Express gazeta” (Rus). A statement by colleagues of the accused stressed Golunov’s innocence, claiming that he is being targetted because of his work as a journalist. Read the statement here (Rus). On June 12 the Andrey Rylkov Foundation held a public discussion “228 (Article of the Russian Criminal Code) in Russia: is there a way out?” to discuss the problem of hundreds of thousands of people persecuted in Russia by the repressive drug laws.
3. Golunov’s case triggered a public outcry in Russia. Evidence falsification, including the planting of drugs have become a common practice in Russia. Aleksey Knorre, a researcher from the Institute for the Rule of law, shared research in this area on his blog, RBC.ru (Rus), as well as in the “Vedomosti” (Rus) newspaper.
4. Mihail Golichenko, a specialist on drug policy and human rights of the Canadian HIV/AIDS legal network, published some expert knowledge about the efficiency of drug courts, available on the Andrey Rylkov Foundation’s web-page (Rus).
7. June 26 was the “Support, Don’t Punish” campaign International Day of Action, aimed at humanizing drug policy and expanding access to harm reduction services worldwide. Have a look at the #supportdontpunish video and read the campaign’s highlights from the EECA region here (Eng).
8. As part of the “Support, Don’t Punish” campaign, Kazakhstan Harm Reduction Network held a photo exhibition, Orange Morning, dedicated to the rights of women who use drugs and calling to stop repressive drug policy in Kazakhstan. See photos here.
9. Your Chance, an NGO based in Belarus, launched a field survey on the use of NSPs. Read further details here (Rus).
10. Share and sign the petition for the liberation of Andrey Yarovoy! Andrey is a Ukrainian harm reduction activist who was illegally arrested and persecuted by the so-called “LNR” in the East of Ukraine following possession of substitution therapy medication for personal use. The petition is available here.