Earlier today, the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum spoke on the phone with Ms Oksana Chelysheva, Director of the Nizhny Novgorod Foundation to Promote Tolerance, and Mr Neil Hicks, Director of the Human Rights Defenders Programme at Human Rights First. Both were in Moscow to attend meetings in memory of the journalist and human rights activist, Ms Anna Politkovskaya.
Ms Chelysheva was one of the main organisers of the international seminar to commemorate Ms Politkovskaya, which was planned to have been held in Nizhny Novgorod. Local authorities sabotaged the event through active pressure on the organisers. Mr Hicks was one of the foreign guests invited to attend the seminar. Here are their individual accounts of the events in Nizhny Novgorod yesterday: