#JustSayNyet: Say No to Russia’s Drug Policy

September 28, 2015

In Russia, discriminatory drug policies and their practical applications continue to fuel the spread of HIV by targeting those least able to defend themselves.


The Russian government’s response to the world drug “problem” has been a distorted reflection of United Nations drug conventions. The result has been an ugly form of unrestricted drug law enforcement resulting in widespread, gross and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Here are four reasons why the Legal Network is critical of Russia’s drug policy:

  1. The state’s promotion of stigma and human rights violations against people who use drugs;
  2. The state’s promotion of non-scientific drug treatment methods;
  3. Restriction of scientific and human rights information under the guise of fighting “drug propaganda”; and
  4. Overreliance on punitive restrictions and indifference to human rights.

On September 28, 2015, the UN Human Rights Council will have a panel discussion on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights. For this discussion and UNGASS 2016, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) prepared a report (please note that this is a Word document) that includes several key messages that are reflected in the Legal Network’s #JustSayNyet campaign.

In short, Russian drug policy

  • stifles public debate and freedom of information,
  • prosecutes scientists and their opinions, and
  • tortures instead of offering treatment.

Click here to read the paper submitted to the UN OHCHR by the Russian Civil Society Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reforms in Russia, with technical assistance of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and join the Legal Network and its partners as we say nyet to Russian drug policy.