Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎

February 2013

Civic activists 
On 1/2 members of the Kremlin’s human rights council said they believe that police, not activists, instigated violence at a May opposition protest. On 5/2, after a senior city official hinted at a ban on wearing white ribbons, hundreds pledged on Facebook to wear the anti-Kremlin symbol with pride. On 7/2 investigators raided the apartment of Vladimir Ashurkov, director of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption, in connection with a criminal case against opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. On 27/2 the Investigative Committee said Aleksei Navalny had fraudulently obtained his credentials as a lawyer. On 9/2 a Moscow court placed Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest on criminal charges he orchestrated anti-government riots. On 12/2 a Moscow district court dismissed an appeal by Udaltsov against the investigation. On 13/2 Konstantin Lebedev, held on suspicion of plotting riots, was released from custody and placed under house arrest. On 11/2 Leonid Razvozzhaev’s lawyer said investigators were continuing attempts to interrogate his client’s lawyers as witnesses. From 19/2 Razvozzhaev served three days in solitary confinement for allegedly breaking detention center regulations. On 11/2 prominent NGOs said a bill on volunteering would stifle their work. They launched a petition against the bill. 

Freedom of expression 
On 4/2 Agora Human Rights Association reported 1197 violations of Internet freedom in Russia in 2012. On 5/2 a plan by Kostroma region to introduce a "white list" of approved websites sparked concerns about censorship. On 6/2 dozens of photos were reported blocked from the Pussy Riot blog on LiveJournal apparently because a court ruled the videos were extremist. On 12/2 YouTube said it was suing the Federal Consumer Protection Service over a decision to ban a video clip that allegedly promotes suicide. 

Freedom of association
On 5/2 Vedomosti reported the Ministry of Justice demanded its regional offices should coordinate implementation of the 'foreign agents' law with central officials. On 6/2 11 NGOs submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights against the so-called ‘foreign agents’ law. On 14/2 President Putin called on security service officers to shield Russians from extremist groups, foreign-funded organizations and cyberattacks. On 25/2 the Ministry of Justice refused to conduct a check into Golos and the Levada Centre over foreign funding. On 26/2 the NGO Human Rights Resource Centre reported the Public Prosecutor's Office for Saratov region plans to inspect 70 NGOs. 

Freedom of assembly
On 14/2 the Constitutional Court upheld the ban on individuals with multiple administrative convictions organizing rallies, but said fines for violations at rallies were too high. On 19/2 Chelyabinsk Investigative Committee opened an investigation into alleged rioting by prisoners’ relatives outside penal colony No. 6 last November. On 20/2 St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly adopted a law banning public gatherings in the city centre.

Freedom of residence
On 18/2 a petition was started on the website against the bill to tighten laws regulating residence registration. On 20/2 reports said Moscow city authorities have urged managers of apartment buildings to report unregistered residents.

North Caucasus
On 6/2 the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said special forces in Dagestan killed an insurgent who organized Moscow terrorist attacks that killed 39 in 2010. On 6/2 Human Rights Watch reported on the exploitation of migrant workers at sites for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. On 11/2 President Putin signed a decree allowing conscripts to be sent to internal conflict zones four months after their service begins. On 18/2 human rights NGOs called on the President of Dagestan to ensure justice for Alibek Mirzekhanov, allegedly abducted and tortured by police. On 27/2 Amnesty International reported an investigation had been opened into death threats against lawyer Magamed Abubakarov.