Stop the harassment of healthcare workers in Russia

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers who have blown the whistle and spoke up in Russia are now reporting reprisals by the authorities for raising concerns over shortage of necessary equipment, lack of training, low pay or unsafe working conditions.

Doctor Tatyana Revva, from the intensive care unit in Kalach-on-Don and a whistle-blower, is facing formal reprimand and potential dismissal after she repeatedly complained to the hospital’s management about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers, as well as other work-related issues.

Similarly,  Yulia Volkova, an endocrinologist from Sochi, has been accused of committing an administrative offense under the Russian “fake news” legislation, for a video she posted on Twitter, calling for health care workers to be provided with PPE.

Tatyana and Yulia are both facing severe penalties simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression and for raising matters of public interest. They should be able to do so without fear of reprisals.

Take action in support of healthcare workers in Russia.

Call on the Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko to urgently:

  • Take necessary steps to end reprisals against Yulia Volkova and Tatyana Revva and ensure that they are able to perform their professional duties and exercise their right to freedom of expression without any further obstruction or harassment.
  • Ensure that all health workers who raise issues at their workplace, including lack of PPE and other equipment, unsafe working conditions, or inadequate pay can do so without fear of reprisals;
  • Look into the reports of shortage and inadequacy of PPE provided to hospital staff in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and take urgent steps to ensure health and other essential workers are adequately protected.