Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎

June 2012

Restrictive legislation 
On 6/6 the Federation Council approved the new restrictive bill on public assemblies. On 8/6 President Putin signed the bill into law. On 26/6 a bill outlawing ‘homosexual propaganda’ to minors was adopted in Samara Region, with fines for infringements of up to 500,000 roubles. On 29/6 a bill was submitted to the State Duma that would impose heavy fines and jail terms on foreign-funded NGOs involved in ‘political’ activity that failed to register on a state list as ‘foreign agents’.

Right of assembly 
On 4/6 new charges of participating in mass unrest were related to the 6/5 demonstration were filed against Alexandra Dukhanina. On 10/6 police arrested five more people in relation to the May 6 demonstration. On 11/6, investigators searched the Moscow apartments of opposition activists, including those of Aleksei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, Kseniya Sobchak, Boris Nemtsov, Ilya Yashin, Pyotr Verzilov and Maria Baranova. Solidarnost activist Mikhail Maglov was detained. On 12/6 the websites of Echo of Moscow Radio, Novaya gazeta, Rain TV and Slon.Ru suffered DDoS attacks. On 12/6 police interrogated leading opposition figures Aleksei Navalny, Ilya Yashin and Ksenia Sobchak. On 12/6 a ‘March of Millions’ took place in Moscow on Russia Day calling for “a free Russia” and “a Russia without Putin”. Sources put the total number of protestors at between 50,000 and 200,000 people. Sergei Udaltsov, ordered to appear for questioning, attended the rally. On 12/6 three Kemerovo residents were detained by police for an unsanctioned protest. On 16/6 police detained 10 activists protesting outside the offices of the Investigative Committee against the questioning of opposition leaders (on 18/6, one of these, Vadim Dergachev, was sentenced to 10 days in jail). On 17/6 six activists from The Other Russia party were detained in Moscow when they unfurled a ‘Russia without Putin’ banner. On 21/6 Moscow police charged Maria Baronova with inciting violence at the 6/5 rally. On 22/6 Oleg Shein was fined 20,000 roubles for an unsanctioned public protest on 12/6 in Astrakhan.

Media rights 
On 7/6 Demyan Kudryavtsev CEO of the Kommersant holding company and Phillip Dzyadko editor of Bolshoi Gorod magazine left their jobs. On 13/6 Novaya gazeta chief editor Dmitry Muratov claimed Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee, threatened his deputy editor Sergei Sokolov, who fled the country. On 13/6 the Union of Journalists of Russia appealed to the General Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the conflict between Bastrykin and Sokolov. On 18/6 the Chuvashia Supreme Court ruled owners of internet fora are not liable for users’ comments. On 28/6 the Supreme Court of Karelia quashed a lower court’s ruling that rights activist Maksim Efimov undergo an in-patient psychiatric examination on account of a blog he wrote and sent the case back for new consideration.

North Caucasus 
On 18/6 El'dar Mamaev was abducted in Nal'chik by unidentified masked persons. On 20/6 a court in Tuapse convicted environmentalists Suren Gazaryan and Evgeniy Vitishko of criminal damage to a construction fence following a trial that raised serious due process concerns. On 21/6 Amnesty International said the security threat for many North Caucasus residents comes from law-enforcement agencies as much as from armed groups.

Pussy Riot case 
On 5/6 the investigation into three members of the Pussy Riot music group, who sang in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, was completed and materials passed to the Investigative Committee for review, including regarding a possible offence under Article 282 ("Extremism"). On 21/6 a Moscow court prolonged the custody of the three until 24/7; police detained 19 protestors outside the court. On 27/6 more than 100 prominent Russians called on the Supreme Court and Moscow City Court to release the three from custody.