TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [November 2018]

1. The Developing Country NGO Delegation raised key issues at the 40th Board Meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held in Geneva, Switzerland (14-15th November). The issues they requested to be addressed by the Global Fund include concerns about transition, the removal of human rights barriers to access to services to key populations - including people who use drugs, and transparency of the Fund’s Secretariat. Read more here.

 

2. Elections for the Head of the EHRA (Eurasian Harm Reduction Association) Steering Committee were held on October 30. Mari Chokheli, representing the Caucasus region, was elected Head. Sasha Levin, representing ENPUD (Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs), and Yulia Georgieva, representing South-Eastern Europe, were elected co-heads of the Committee, as TalkingDrugs reported.

 

3. The European Harm Reduction Conference: A Time to Act! Was held in Bucharest from November 21-23. The participants called for urgent action to save harm reduction in Europe.

See the video report produced by the Rights Reporter Foundation here.

 

4. The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living With Drug Dependency has called for help to release Ukrainian activist and OST patient Andrey Yarovoy, who is incarcerated by the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic” authorities. Yarovoy has been illegally imprisoned in the Ukrainian uncontrolled territory since August 2018. Read in more detail here

 

5. The Andrey Rylkov Foundation is seeking financial support to pay a fine of 800,000 RUB (12,000 USD) for a publication that, according to a court’s ruling, “propagated narcotic drugs” by providing harm reduction advice. Read in detail here.

 

6. Dasha Ocheret, an EHRA expert in drug policy, has explained key concepts and definitions of drug policy. A short version of the first two interviews is available on TalkingDrugs, the third one is available here.

 

7. Tajikistan activists have discussed the next steps of sustainable transition from Global Fund funding, to ensure the protection and development of harm reduction services for key populations in the country. Read more here.

 

8. The Tajikistan Network of Women Living With HIV has submitted a report about the human rights violations of women living with HIV and vulnerable groups (female former prisoners, women using drugs, and sex workers) to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, TalkingDrugs reports.

 

9. The EHRA has published Budget Advocacy Guide for activists working in harm reduction, based on the experience of the EECA activists. The full text is available here.

 

10. The government of Georgia has blocked a draft law that would have legalised the cultivation and export of cannabis for medical purposes, Civil.ge reports. The key reason for this denial was the position of the Georgian Church.

 

11. Most people imprisoned for drug offences in Russia are convicted under Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code - nicknamed the “people’s” article because of the large number of people imprisoned under it. So, who is really prosecuted for drugs in Russia? Read the article and watch videos at Radio Liberty.

 

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