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October 2013

Greenpeace: Arctic Sunrise 
During 2-3/10, prosecutors filed piracy charges against all 28 members of the crew and 2 freelance journalists. All were refused bail. On 3/10, Mikhail Fedotov, chair of the Human Rights Council, said there was no basis for piracy charges. On 24/10 the Investigative Committee replaced charges of piracy with “hooliganism”. Dmitry Litvinov spent three days in a punishment cell for having letters to his family in his cell. 

Right of assembly 
On 4/10 Moscow city authorities’ refused to allow an Amnesty International event on 7/10. On 6/10, four LGBT activists protesting against a bill to deprive LGBT persons of parental rights were arrested in Moscow; police in St. Petersburg arrested 67 LGBT protestors on 12/10; and confiscated a rainbow flag from LGBT activists on 27/10 during the Olympic torch relay. On 7/10 Moscow City Court prolonged until 6/2/14 pretrial detention of Leonid Razvozzhaev. On 8/10, a court ruled Bolotnaya defendant Mikhail Kosenko be committed to a psychiatric hospital. On 27/10 thousands marched in Moscow in support of the Bolotnaya defendants. On 31/10 police detained participants in rallies for freedom of assembly in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. 

Pussy Riot 
From 30/9 until 11/10, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was not able to meet her lawyers. On 14/10 she met her lawyer and released an open letter. On 18/10 she restarted a hunger strike. On 23/10 reports said she had been moved to another prison. On 24/10 the Investigative Committee said it would not investigate her allegations of death threats by a prison official. On 15/10 the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Ekaterina Samutsevich against her conviction. On 18/10 Maria Alekhina withdrew a plea for early release. 

Freedom of expression 
On 1/10 amendments to the Civil Code prohibiting the collection, possession, and distribution of personal information went into force. Dutch photojournalist Rob Hornstra has been refused a Russian visa. On 22/10 unknown attackers threw an incendiary device into the offices of Moskovsky Komsomolets. On 31/10 a Moscow court ordered the closure of the news website 

Aleksei Navalny 
On 16/10 an appeal court upheld Aleksei Navalny's conviction but suspended his 5-year sentence. On 29/10 new charges of fraud were brought against Navalny and his brother. On 21/10 Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he had conferred with President Putin about allowing Navalny to participate in the mayoral election on 8/9. 

On 13/10 rioting broke out in Biriulevo in south Moscow following the killing on 10-11/10 of an ethnic Russian. On 14/10 police detained more than 1,200 immigrants at a market. On 16/10 an Uzbek migrant worker was found stabbed to death in Biriulevo. 

European Court of Human Rights 
On 3/10 the ECtHR found Russia responsible for 18 deaths incurred during a military strike on a Chechen village in February 2000; the ECtHR also ruled against Russia over the 2007 arrest of Garry Kasparov. On 21/10 the ECtHR ruled it was unable to determine the adequacy of an investigation into the 1940 Katyn massacre. On 23/10 the Supreme Court upheld the life sentence for ex-Yukos official Aleksei Pichugin. On 31/10 the ECtHR ruled the authorities are responsible for the disappearances of a driver of Civic Assistance Committee, Bulat Chilayev (2001), and Aslan Israilov (2006). 

NGOs / NGO activists 
On 3/10 Krasnodar prosecutors confirmed charges against Mikhail Savva. On 10/10 a Krasnodar court extended Savva’s pre-trial detention until 30/11/13. Savva said the charges against him have been fabricated. On 17/10 St Petersburg’s commercial court quashed a fine levied against Bellona for alleged health violations. On 22/10 a court ruled Ryazan Memorial is not engaged in political activity. On 29/10 a Kostroma NGO suspended its activities because of fines under the ‘foreign agents’ law.
Rights in Russia,
11 Nov 2013, 10:35