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September 2012

Court cases 
On 6/9 a lawyer for opposition activist Taisiya Osipova lodged an appeal against her eight-year jail term. On 21/9 Arkhangelsk Region Court quashed a ruling reducing the sentence of Platon Lebedev to nine years and eight months. On 25/9 reported German Green Party official Marieluise Beck was refused a visit with Mikhail Khodorkovsky. On 25/9 a Moscow court freed chemist Olga Zelenina, accused of authoring a false expert opinion in a drug trafficking case, from pre-trial detention; on 26/9 new charges of misleading a court were brought against her. On 26/9 the Russian Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Igor Sutyagin that the European Court of Human Rights had said in May 2011had violated the right to fair trial. 

Pussy Riot
On 4/9 France's human rights ambassador was not been allowed to meet jailed members of Pussy Riot. On 5/9 police summoned Pussy Riot lawyer Mark Feygin for questioning in a criminal case about the 6/5 demonstration. On 12/9 PM Medvedev called for the release of Pussy Riot members. On 24/9 police said Orthodox activists who tore off someone’s t-shirt that had words and images supporting Pussy Riot committed no crime. 

On 5/9 Bellona reported Mari El region had banned officials from participating in activities held by NGOs receiving foreign funding. On 11/9 RAPSI said the government had submitted to the State Duma a bill on NGO transparency. On 19/9 USAID said it would close its offices in Russia by 1/10 following an order from the Russian authorities. On 21/9 Memorial said it would not comply with the new law likely to class it as “a foreign agent.” 

Freedom of expression
On 3/9 some online news resources added an "18+" adult content warning to their sites in response to the new law on child protection, meaning access could be banned in public places. On 4/9 federal agents questioned Esquire reporter Svetlana Reiter about a year-old article based on an interview with rights activist Igor Kalyapin about the case of Islam Umarpashayev. On 11/9 Moscow City Court rejected Aleksei Navalny’s request for an appeal in a defamation case brought by entrepreneur Vladen Stepanov. On 19/9 Rostelecom barred customers in Omsk region accessing YouTube as federal prosecutors said Internet providers should block access to an anti-Muslim video. On 21/9 the State Duma approved in first reading a bill to expand the definition of high treason. On 26/9 State Duma deputies introduced a bill making it a criminal offence to offend religious believers. 

Right of assembly
On 15/9 tens of thousands took part in a March of Millions in Moscow. On 15/9 during the dispersal of an opposition rally in Nizhny Novgorod, a police officer struck activist Ekaterina Zaitseva over the head with a baton, causing concussion. On 24/9 a Moscow court ruled custody be extended for Aleksei Polikhovich, held in connection with the investigation into the 6/5 demonstration on Bolotnaya Square. Moscow City Court made a similar ruling in the case of Mikhail Kosenko. 

Freedom of conscience
On 6/9 Moscow city authorities demolished a Pentecostal church. On 13/9 Forum 18 reported Pentecostal Pastor Aleksandr Kravchenko was the first religious leader in Russia to be fined for holding a religious service under the new law on demonstrations. On 20/9 Moscow City Hall shelved plans to build a new mosque in the city. 

LGBT rights
On 10/9 Moscow City Court upheld the local authority’s refusal to authorize a gay rally near Aeroflot's office on 7/12/11 against alleged discrimination. On 13/9 the Supreme Court of Russia ruled some LGBT events were not to be classified as ‘homosexual propaganda’ and should not be banned under a law banning homosexual propaganda to minors. On 26/9 the St. Petersburg Statutory Court dismissed a complaint by LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev against the law banning promotion of homosexuality among minors.