TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [June 2020]

Ukrainian activists demand the release of Natasha Zelenina, an OST patient who was illegally detained in 2017 in an uncontrolled territory in eastern Ukraine. Illustration: Source

Activists from “Legalize Belarus” filed recommendations on decriminalisation of drug use to all MPs of the House of Representatives of the Belarusian Parliament (Rus).  Prior to presidential elections in Belarus, activists gathered positions of all major candidates on liberalisation of the state drug policy. Read details at TalkingDrugs (Rus). 

Fabrika 228: a new joint project of International Agora and Russian human rights defenders from  Zona Prava has been established to provide legal aid in cases of rights violations related to drug laws. Read more here (Rus). The Russian media portal  “MediaZona” published a quiz “How well do you know Russian drug policy realities?” To take the quiz - click here (Rus).

DUNews studio produced a video on the international campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” actions held in the EECA region. The movie explores what support means to people who use drugs and is available here (Rus). 

As a part of “Support. Don’t punish” campaign people who use drugs in Ukraine held a solidarity action with Natalya Zelenina, a Ukrainian OST patient who has been illegally detained since November 2017 in the so-called “DNR” (uncontrolled territory in the East of Ukraine). Natasha was arrested for possession of OST medication for personal use, for which she had an official prescription. Ukrainian activists demand Natalya’s immediate release. Read the details of Natasha Zelenina’s case here (Rus).

On 27th June the annual Cannabis Freedom March was held in Kyiv, Ukraine. Activists demand the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes. Read this article about Ukrainian drug policy and access to medical cannabis by “Zaborona” media outlet (Rus).  A photo report from the street action is available here

On 10th June the Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD) were officially registered in Georgia as a regional community network. The ENPUD information digest in English is available here (Eng). 

The EECA Regional Platform launched a COVID Alert System. Regional Platforms for Communication and Coordination assist the Global Fund to identify COVID-related risks, opportunities, disruptions, and innovations specific to Global Fund-supported programs. Details are available here (Eng). 

Why Won’t Russia Liberalise Its Drug Policy? Read an interview with the Russian lawyer Arseniy Levinson at Spid.center (Rus). 

How China Supplies the Illegal Drug Market in Russia: an investigation by Russian journalists available here: “Euphoria. Cargo” (Rus). 

Racism and Policing Are Global Problems. Drug Control is a Vehicle: story published on TalkingDrugs here (Eng). Russian translation is available here (Rus).