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April 2013

Right of association
On 8/4 NGOs challenged President Putin's comment to German TV that NGOs in Russia received about $1bn from abroad in the last three months. On 8/4 the Memorial Human Rights Center filed a challenge in a Moscow court against the recent NGO inspections. On 15/4 the Justice Ministry said its inspections of NGOs had revealed no evidence of extremism. On 22/4 the offices of Civic Assistance Committee were subjected to a repeat inspection. On 25/4 Golos was fined 300,000 roubles for violating the ‘foreign agents’ law. On 26/4 the Justice Ministry warned Transparency International-Russia it was engaged in political activities. On 30/4 Memorial Human Rights Centre, Agora, and Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre were ordered to register as ‘foreign agents.’ 

Right of assembly 
On 1/4 a Moscow court extended until 6/8 the house arrest of Sergei Udaltsov, accused of plotting to incite ‘mass disorder.’ On 2/4 a Moscow court dismissed a complaint by opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhaev over the refusal of the Investigative Committee to investigate his abduction in Kiev. On 6/4 in New Pushkin Square in Moscow a rally was held in support of those charged over the 6 May 2012 Bolotnaya Square rally. On 20/4 24 protesters were arrested on Red Square at an unauthorized rally against the Bolotnaya investigation. On 22/4 an independent inquiry vindicated the protesters at the May 2012 rally. On 25/4 Konstantin Lebedev was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in a penal colony for plotting ‘mass disorder.’ On 29/4 leading human rights groups announced a new international commission of experts to investigate the May 2012 rally. 

Pussy Riot 
On 16/4 Berezniki town court postponed hearing Alekhina’s petition for parole (received on 12/4) until the end of May. On 26/4 a court in the Russian region of Mordovia denied a request for parole by Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. 

Aleksei Navaln
The Investigative Committee told Izvestiya (12/4) that Navalny's criticism of the government made investigators ‘accelerate’ the case against him. On 17/4 about 3,000 people took part in a rally in Moscow against the trial of Navalny, which began that day. On 18/4 investigators brought a new — fifth — charge against Navalny. On 24/4 Navalny in court said the trial would prove his innocence, even if the judge convicted him. On 26/4 UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul urged the Russian Government to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the justice system.

Magnitsky case
On 12/4 the USA placed visa bans and asset freezes on 18 individuals whose names were published on the "Magnitsky list." On 13/4 Russia published a list of 18 US officials barred from the country. On 17/4 a Moscow court said Bill Browder, Magnitsky’s former employer, has been placed on an international wanted list. 

Mikhail Savva 
On 12/4 the FSB detained Professor Mikhail Savva, director of grantmaking programmes at the Southern Regional Resource Centre in Krasnodar. On 13/4 a court ordered Savva be held in custody for two months. His wife said the case was politically motivated

Internet freedom 
Reports on 18/4 said investigators had searched the office and home of Pavel Durov, founder of the VKontakte social network. On 24/4 four internet publications received official warnings over publications about Pussy Riot t-shirts and the artist, Loskutov 

North Caucasus 
On 18/4 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Askhabova v Russia that Chechen police loyal to Ramzan Kadyrov kidnapped and murdered a local man more than three years ago. On 29/4 police and private security forces forcibly dispersed residents protesting construction of a proposed power plant in Sochi. On 2/5 police said 73 alleged members of the Islamist insurgency were killed in the North Caucasus in 2013. 
Rights in Russia,
13 May 2013, 01:57