Robert van Voren: Number of political prisoners in Russia continues to increase

posted 16 Jul 2016, 01:28 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Jul 2016, 01:36 ]
29 June 2016 

Source: Press Release, Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR

The number of political prisoners in Russia continues to increase, according to the Netherlands-based Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR. The new List of Political Prisoners in Russia, prepared by the New Chronicle of Current Events, released today and containing data as of June 1, 2016, contains the names of 277 people, which is a new "record" number - the previous List of December 10, 2015 included the names of 256 persons. [see attachment]

The dynamics of the List reflects the continuous process of ongoing repression in the Russian Federation. Over the last six months 59 new criminal cases were initiated, or about 10 cases every month. 

There is a stable proportion between the various categories of the repressed people. Political opposition accounts for around one third of all the repressed, 40 percent are persecuted for their religious beliefs, and about 8 percent are bloggers and civil society activists. At the same time, the number of the repressed Crimean Tatars is doubled, in fact, just for belonging to this ethnic group regardless of the charges involved.

The geography of repression also remains stable: the residents of Moscow and the Moscow region account for approximately a quarter of all repressed.

Altogether this reflects the systematic nature of repression, and the fact that despite the apparent randomness, it is carried out according to the plan, thoroughly coordinated by the central government. 

The constant increase in the number of repressed indicates that the government continues to use repression as one of the main methods of governance. It is obvious that in the absence of more active opposition to the repressive policy, more and more people in Russia will be subject to reprisals for the use of their rights and freedoms. 

For more information: Robert van Voren, +31-651534123; 
The Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR, a continuation of the Vladimir Bukovsky Foundation that supported the human rights movement in the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s, resumed its activities in 2013 in light of the increased repression in Russia. 

Attachments: Press Release; List of Political Prisoners
Rights in Russia,
16 Jul 2016, 01:33
Rights in Russia,
16 Jul 2016, 01:33