Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2010‎ > ‎

February 2010

European Court of Human Rights
On 4/2 Russia ratified Protocol No. 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. On 26/2 the Constitutional Court ordered Russian authorities to obey decisions by the European Court of Human Rights and demanded further reforms of the judiciary, including changes to the Civil Procedural Code.

Secret Detention
On 19/2, Russia urged the UN Human Rights Council not to permit open publication of the Council's report on places of secret detention that cites interviews with residents of Chechnya who underwent torture in places of secret detention.

North Caucasus
Three human rights defenders, lawyers with the Joint Mobile Group, were detained by police for 15 hours on 7-8 February in Shali, Chechnya. Authorities stated 18 alleged members of illegal armed groups and four civilians were killed in a security operation in Ingushetia (11-12/2). Memorial called for an investigation.

Right of Assembly
On 23/2 Moscow police detained Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the Yabloko party, and other participants in a Moscow picket in support of pensions for military veterans. On 24/2 a Moscow district court dismissed two cases brought by organizers of the Moscow rally of 31/1 for the right of assembly against the city authorities’ refusal to permit the event. On 26/2 the same district court fined Eduard Limonov, leader of the National Bolsheviks, 2,000 roubles for organizing the unsanctioned rally. On 28/2 a Moscow demonstration against police detention was unable to proceed after the organizers (Roman Dobrokhotov and other members of the opposition youth group We) were arrested.

Media Rights
On 9/2 Ramzan Kadyrov withdrew libel suits against against Ludmila Alekseeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Oleg Orlov of Memorial, and Novaya Gazeta. All had accused Kadyrov of ordering kidnappings and killings. A number of media outlets were subjected to DDoS attacks, including the websites of Novaya gazeta and Vedomosti, and The website of Eduard Limonov was reported blocked on 9/2 by Internet provider Korbina Telekom. As reported 12/2, the Moscow city police Centre for Combating Extremism and the city’s prosecutors are investigating for an alleged breach of anti-extremism legislation. Moscow Mayor Luzhkov and his wife Elena Baturina won civil defamation cases in Moscow courts against Boris Nemtsov (9/2 and 16/2), Kommersant (9/2) and Leonid Gozman (10/2). On 27/2 Reporters Without Borders said pressure on media in Krasnodar region prevented fair coverage of preparations for the 2014 Sochi Games.

Law enforcement
According to reports (4/2), new charges of drug-trafficking are to be brought against whistleblower and former police major Aleksei Dymovsky, in detention on fraud charges. On 19/2, human rights defender Vadim Karastelev was detained by police for distributing leaflets in support of Dymovsky, sentenced to seven days’ administrative detention for resisting police, and fined 2,000 roubles for taking part in a rally that had no official sanction. On 27/2, a day after his release, Vadim Karastelev was attacked and seriously injured. On 15/2, Moscow city police chief, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, said an internal police inquiry found allegations of malpractice published in Slaves of the OMON (The New Times, 1/2) were unfounded. Editor-in-chief of the The New Times, Evgeniya Albats, had given evidence to investigators on 9/2. A later article in The New Times (22/2) said migrant workers had been forced to work without pay for Moscow OMON and top police officials. An OMON spokesman called the article “a complete fabrication”. Jamison Firestone, U.S. citizen and founding partner of the law firm that employed Sergei Magnitsky, said (24/2) he had fled Russia to avoid fraud charges fabricated by law enforcement authorities.