Free speech and drug policy advocates alike were chilled recently by the Russian drug control service, which shut down the website of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF) for promotion of illegal drug use in February.   In fact, the website contained Russian language materials on information related to methadone and buprenorphine, as well as human rights and drug policy.   

ARF is appealing to the Russian courts, the UN Special Rapporteur, and the Ministry of Health to guarantee access to information about these medicines, both of which are included in the WHO List of Essential Medicines. 

Internationally, ARF has successfully gathered support from health and human rights groups including a press release by the International AIDS Society, and another by ARTICLE 19, Human Rights Watch, Harm Reduction International, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. 

The advocacy efforts continue, spearheaded by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy and the International Drug Policy Consortium.

For more information, contact Sarah Evans.

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