On the International Drug User's Day, November 1, 2009, activists organized a protest in front of the Federal Drug Control Service (FDCS) in Moscow to pay tribute to the memory of people who died in overdoses or drug related diseases. The protesters laid flowers and white slippers (the symbol of death) on the doorsteps of the agency's building to remember the great number of lives claimed by inhumane Russian drug policy.
Every year thousands of people die in Russia because of drug related overdoses and infections - many of these deaths could be easily prevented with the help of evidence based harm reduction programs. Despite the evidence showing the effectiveness of these programs, the anti-drug agency pursues a war on drug users - and like in every wars, the first casualty is truth.
The peacful protest was ended by police brutality, five portesters were arrested and detained for five hours, later they were summoned to a magistrate court. This is how Russian authorities respond to citizens who express their opinion on government policies, repressing the memories of dead people who fell victim to neglect and prejudice. The US and the rest of Europe is assisting because they prefer economic and military interests over human rights.
We thank for Masha Ovchinnikova for sending us the video footage from the protest!