To the memory of Elena Ryabinina

Elena Ryabinina died on 4 May 2014

Давайте негромко,
Давайте вполголоса,
Давайте простимся светло.

(Из «Прощальной песни» (стихи Юлия Кима)). Lena loved this author and presented her friends with record of this concert.

Photo: One of the last photos of Elena Ryabinina. 
In difficult, almost hopeless situations Lena always joked and found a way out.

Since 2002 Elena Ryabinina defended the rights of Central Asian refugees living in Russia, was the manager of “Help political refugees from Central Asia” and “Right to Asylum” programs.

Riabinina actively fought for compliance with the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international legal instruments. At the same time it was a struggle with the Russian judicial system, for which the people and their rights are traditionally in the last place. But thanks to her highest competence, energy, integrity and perseverance, Elena, many times, managed to overcome the resistance of enormous bureaucratic machine. Also, it was a struggle against agreements of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which violates rights and basic principles of the international law. Using these agreements, the SCO member states are trying to give a semblance of legality to their political repressions. First of all, we are dealing with politically motivated kidnapping and forced extradition, deportation of refugees.

Thanks to Elena Riabinina’s efforts, about 70 refugee families were moved from Russia to safe countries.

She was able to create a database on cases of unlawful forced return of refugees to their countries of origin. As a rule, they were later imprisoned and many of them were tortured to give evidence against themselves. Lena followed their fate; until the last days of life, she informed independent observers in the field of human rights protection about fate of such refugee. 

All these cases have been accurately documented and became the undisputed argument for protection against torture and the subject of analysis for many reputable human rights organisations. Based on information Elena Riabinina provided, governments of U.S. Canada and many of the EU states formed recommendations for the countries of Central Asia in their dialogue in the field of human rights. Colossal amount of work and huge experience allowed Elena Riabinina to become a serious expert in the field of protection of the rights of refugees from Central Asia; her expert opinion allowed to influence the fates of many people persecuted for political and religious reasons. 

Elena Riabinina cooperated with the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia since 2005: //www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/05/memory-elena-ryabinina». 

As a human rights activist she published a lot about the problems of refugees in the form of press releases and articles. Here are some of them:

"The Shanghai Six" and expulsion of refugees http://www.hro.org/node/2933

"Sinusoid" International law, extradition matters and some of trigonometry: http://www.hro.org/node/4816

Other article by Elena Riabinina in portal “Human Rights in Russia”:  http://www.hro.org/user/12/track

You can read the human rights activist’s biography here:  http://www.agentura.ru/dossier/russia/people/ryabinina/

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Elena Raybinina is remembered as a cheerful and kind person. These days, meeting with her and common causes are remembered and we are sadned that they are over.

Elena Riabinina accomplished many charitable works. We will miss her a great deal.

We cherish memory of you, my dear Lena.