Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎

March 2013

Pussy Riot case 
On 1/3 Human Rights Watch called on the Russian authorities to free imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadia Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina. On 6/3 media said rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin had petitioned Moscow City Court to quash the Pussy Riot verdict. On 14/3 the penal colony authorities said they opposed Tolokonnikova’s parole. On 20/3 Moscow City Court published its judgment of 15/3 rejecting Pussy Riot’s appeal. On 21/3 it was reported prosecutors had found violations in Alekhina’s conditions of detention. 

Magnitsky case 
On 6/3 reports said the Interior Ministry is to bring criminal charges against U.S.-born investor Bill Browder, head of Hermitage Capital, for whom Sergei Magnitsky worked as a lawyer when he died in pre-trial detention in 2009. On 11/3 the posthumous trial of Magnitsky was postponed. His widow Natalya Zharikova called the trial ‘an insult to his memory.’ On 22/3 Moscow’s Tverskoi district court began proceedings, postponed on 11/3, in the posthumous of trial of Magnitsky for tax evasion.

Leonid Razvozzhaev case 
On 12/3, Leonid Razvozzhaev was taken from pre-trial detention in Irkutsk and was moved via Chelyabinsk to Moscow where he was reported to be on 19/3. On 22/3 he was charged with making a false accusation; on 29/3 a Moscow court extended his pretrial detention by four months.

Right of association 
On 6/3 Moscow prosecutors conducted a series of inspections of NGOs "in order to enforce existing legislation", also involving specialists from the Federal Tax Service and the Ministry of Justice. On 14/3 law enforcement agencies conducted inspections in Krasnodar. Subsequent inspections took place on 21/3 of the International Memorial Society in Moscow and of the Foundation for Freedom of Information and Citizens’ Watch in St. Petersburg; on 25/3 of Amnesty International, For Human Rights and Memorial Human Rights Centre in Moscow, and of Memorial Anti-Discrimination Centre in St. Petersburg; on 27/3 of Human Rights Watch, Transparency International Russia and Civic Assistance in Moscow, and of Memorial Research and Information Centre in St. Petersburg; on 28/3 of Moscow Helsinki Group. On 27/3 Pavel Chikov (Agora) and Lev Ponomarev (For Human Rights) were summoned by prosecutors for questioning; on 29/3 three charges were brought against human rights defender Lev Ponomarev for alleged violations of administrative law. On 21/3 the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and on 24/3 Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders and Human Rights Watch expressed concern at the inspections. On 25/3 the Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civil Society called on Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to explain the inspections. On 26/3 a prosecutors’ document was published witnessing to the creation of a ‘mobile group’ for inspections. On 27/3 Memorial Human Rights Centre asked the Moscow Prosecutor's Office to explain the legal grounds for the inspection. 

Right of assembly 
On 1/3 a Moscow court extended pre-trial detention for three activists detained at the Bolotnaya Square rally on 6/5/12. On 8/3 at least seven were detained at a rally in support of Pussy Riot. On 8/3 demonstrators were arrested in Moscow following an alleged attack on them by riot police. A man professing to be an ex-government operative said police had organized clashes at the 2012 Bolotnaya Square rally. On 20/3 Moscow city hall turned down a request by protesters to hold a Strategy 31 rally on 31/3. 

Freedom of expression
On 1/3 a district court in Arkhangelsk fined academic Ivan Moseyev 100,000 roubles for insulting the dignity of the Russian ethnic group. On 15/3 Russia's federal media and telecoms watchdog said Twitter has agreed to block access to accounts or posts that have been blacklisted. On 15/3 the federal consumer protection agency criticized Google and YouTube for a lack of cooperation on restricting access to the Internet.