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October 2012

Pussy Riot 
On 10/10 an appeal court upheld the two-year prison sentences given to Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina (Alyokhina) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, but gave Ekaterina Samutsevich a suspended sentence. 

Freedom of expression 
On 3/10 Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio-electronics blocked the website of satirist Viktor Shenderovich, declaring it to be extremist. On 4/10 the Communications Ministry proposed banning people under 18 from using Wi-Fi networks in public. On 7/10 Moscow City Court ruled the film Innocence of Muslims be banned on grounds of extremism. On 19/10, blogger Maksim Efimov, prosecuted for a blog critical of the Orthodox Church, was granted temporary political asylum in Estonia.

LGBT rights 
On 1/10 the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers said Russia was not abiding by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Alekseyev v Russia. On 3/10 the Supreme Court rejected a complaint against St. Petersburg’s law banning propaganda of homosexuality among minors. On 11/10 there was an attack on a gay-friendly club in Moscow. On 30/10 Moscow City Court upheld a ban on a gay pride parade next May.

Freedom of assembly 
On 15/10 Maksim Luzyanin was charged with violence and riot at a 6/5 rally and investigators said suspect Mikhail Kosenko needed psychiatric treatment. On 16/10 Left Front detainee Oleg Prudnikov, on hunger strike since 12/10, was refused hospitalisation. On 18/10 Konstantin Lebedev, aide to Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, was charged with plotting mass riots and ordered to be held in custody until 16/12. On 22/10 investigators said activist Leonid Razvozzhaev had turned himself in and confessed to plotting mass riots. On 23/10 UNHCR published a statement expressing concern over the apparent abduction of Razvozzhaev in Ukraine. On 23/10 Razvozzhaev renounced his earlier confession. On 26/10 Sergei Udaltsov was charged with plotting mass riots. On 27/10 police detained Udaltsov, Navalny and Ilya Yashin during a Moscow demonstration in support of political prisoners (they were released on 29/10 but will face administrative penalties). 

A bill to widen the definition of high treason was passed by the State Duma on 23/10 and by the Federation Council on 31/10. On 25/10 the State Duma passed in 2nd reading a bill setting fines for NGOs violating rules on ‘foreign agent’ status. 

Remembrance Day
On 29/10 on Lubyanka Square people read a list of names of 30,000 victims shot in Moscow under Stalin. On 30/10, Remembrance Day for victims of political repression, more than 500 people rallied in Moscow against political repression.

Human rights defenders
On 4/10 Human Rights Watch said its senior Russia researcher Tanya Lokshina had been the victim of threats. 

On 3/10 the Central Elections Commission proposed new restrictions at polling stations. On 15/10 Golos reported widespread fraud in the regional and local elections held on 14/10. During 20-21/10 nearly 60,000 people cast online votes for the opposition Coordinating Committee amid a weekend of hacker attacks on the voting sites.

Freedom of conscience 
As reported on 15/10 Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said new mosques should not be built in Moscow because ‘two-thirds’ of Muslims were not registered in the city. Due to a lack of mosques, the majority of Moscow's two million strong Muslim population had nowhere to pray during celebrations of Eid al-Adha over 26 – 29/10. 

On 23/10 the European Court of Human Rights ruled Russia must pay damages to ex-Yukos employee Aleksei Pichugin for trial violations.
Rights in Russia,
10 Nov 2012, 10:24