“Citizens Watch’s” open-door days

“Citizens Watch” took part in the NGO Open-Door Week, held in St. Petersburg from the 5th to the 11th of June. Meetings were held on the topics of human rights education, public scrutiny, and a legal lecture on interacting with police and officials.

On June 9th, a meeting and discussion were held on “Human Rights and Education.” Participants discussed various methods of informal education. Boris Romanov led the meeting and presented on comics from the project “Respect,” a graphic novel “Search,” and a series of discussion videos by “Freetochoose.” All of these resources can be used for informal human rights education, covering topics such as, xenophobia and discrimination. The discussion touched on education in schools. There were differing views on who should be engaged in human rights education: teachers or practitioners. Opinions were divided.

On June 10th, lawyers “Citizens Watch” lead a lecture on interacting with the police and accessing information on the activities of public authorities. The lawyers discussed how to conduct one’s self while interacting with a police officer, laws which are advantageous to know in such a scenario, and what the police may and may not do according to the law. A significant part of the lecture was devoted to the transparency of public authorities. Participants talked about how to obtain information from the authorities upon request, which information the public has a right to view and which information’s distribution is limited by federal law.

Open-Doors Week ended with informational meeting on public scrutiny. The meeting was led by the Chairman of “Citizens Watch,” Elena Shakhova, and a member of the international youth human rights movement, Alexander Peredruk. At the meeting, a film was shown on the right to a fair trial. Elena Shakhova discussed “Citizens Watch’s” involvement in monitoring trials. Alexander Peredruk delivered a message about the Joint Public Observation Group and about how to join as a civilian observer.