Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice




Campaign against repressive drug policy in Russia to be held in Moscow on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, a campaign will be held against abuse and torture of people who use drugs in Russia. For the event, organized opposite the Federal Drug Control Service in Moscow (Maroseyka, 12), the street will be symbolically renamed to ‘Fariseyka’ (Pharisee Street) to reflect hypocrisy of the Russian ‘anti-drug measures’ that in reality are nothing but a war against human beings. Activists will bring along mock instruments of torture as a present for the Russian drug police, and file a petition against repressive measures and for the promotion of humane drug policy based on protection of human rights, health and dignity.

June 26 is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, as well as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Moscow’s action is to be held in solidarity with the campaign ‘Support, don’t punish’ (, that carries forward protests in 26 cities around the world.

In Russia, the policy towards people who use drugs is particularly repressive. According to the Federal Drug Control Service, every third inmate in Russian prisons is a drug user. One in sixth inmates were convicted for drug-trafficking, yet about 75% of them were incarcerated for offenses not involving sale of drugs. Drug dependent individuals, instead of receiving moral support and effective treatment, fall victims to systematic torture and cruel and degrading treatment in all areas – healthcare, law enforcement and public sphere. Government structures, officials and individuals acting on behalf or through the silent support of the state, intentionally hurt and humiliate a huge part of our society (around 2.5 mln drug users) as a punishment for drug use or intimidation against it. Instead of providing effective treatment and system-based rehabilitation, the government pushes forward with fierce repressions and arm-twisting, not leaving any chances of rescue for people who use drugs.

Therefore, this Wednesday, activists campaigning for drug policy reform in Russia will flare signals to the Federal Drug Control Service and raise their voices against excessive cruelty, prosecution of ordinary drug users, torture, violence and repression.

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