Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎

July 2012

Right of association
On 21/7 President Putin signed into law a bill tightening regulation of NGOs that receive funding from abroad, including a requirement that they be registered as ‘foreign agents.’ On 6/7 NGOs signed a joint declaration against the bill.

Right of assembly 
On 2/7 rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said there had been no ‘riot’ at the demonstration on 6/5 on Bolotnaya Square. On 12/7 Memorial said the prosecutions of 14 people related to the Bolotnaya demonstration were political in nature. On 25/7 two more activists, Nikolai Kavkazsky and Aleksei Polikhovich, were arrested in connection with the investigation. On 26/7 hundreds attended a Moscow rally in support of the detainees, organized by the ‘May 6 Committee’ that provides the detainees with legal representation.

Freedom of expression 
On 28/7 President Putin signed into law a bill recriminalizing defamation, and a bill creating a ‘website blacklist’ that will force Internet companies to block banned content. On 7/7 journalist Aleksandr Khodzinsky was murdered in Tulun, Irkutsk region. On 16/7 the final indictment against ex-police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was filed for conspiracy to murder journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. As reported 18/7, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service sent notices to YouTube, LiveJournal, and four other websites demanding they cease ‘illegal’ publication of Russians' personal information.

Anti-Extremism law 
On 26/7 blogger Maksim Efimov, prosecuted for ‘extremism’ for criticizing the Orthodox Church, said he was in Poland and would ask for political asylum there. On 30/7 ten Jehovah's Witnesses in Chuvashia were charged with criminal acts including the incitement of hatred and extremism.

Pussy Riot 
On 2/7 federal ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said it was ‘absolutely against our law’ that the three Pussy Riot singers Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, arrested in February for performing an anti-Kremlin song in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral, were still in custody. On 4/7 the three detained members of Pussy Riot went on hunger strike to protest against a court ruling they must prepare their legal defence by 9/7. On 9/7 a Moscow court prolonged their term in custody until 24/7. On 11/7 the investigation was concluded. On 20/7 Moscow’s Kamovnichesky court ruled the three women would remain in custody until 12/1/2013. On 30/7 the trial of Pussy Riot opened in Moscow, and the three pleaded not guilty to charges of hooliganism and religious hatred.

Rights defenders, civic activists 
On 7/7 Igor Kalyapin, chair of the Committee Against Torture, was threatened with criminal proceedings in connection with the NGO’s work in support of victims of rights violations in Chechnya. On 13/7 Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called on the Russian authorities to bring to justice those who killed rights activist Natalia Estemirova in 2009. On 5/7 Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee, ordered a criminal case against Aleksei Navalny in Kirov region, concerning alleged losses to a state company in August 2009, to be reopened and transferred to Moscow. On 26/7 Navalny accused Bastrykin of concealing real estate and business interests in the Czech Republic. On 31/7 Navalny was charged under Article 160-3-33 of the Russian Criminal Code (embezzlement on a grand scale) and ordered not to leave Moscow. On 26/7 Moscow’s Basmanny district court ruled money seized from activist Ksenia Sobchak during searches of her house on 11/6 should not be returned at present.

Conditions in detention 
On 9/7 Raisat Elmurzaeva, a Dagestan resident, said her son held in detention in Makhachkala reported inmates were on hunger strike in protest at torture. On 23/7 it was reported up to 900 prisoners were refusing food and five slashed their forearms in a prison in Bashkortostan after an inmate was beaten to death on 17/7.
Rights in Russia,
31 Jul 2012, 04:17