Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎

September 2013

Electoral rights 
On 8/9 Aleksei Navalny came second in the vote for Moscow mayor; official results gave Sergei Sobyanin over 50%, ensuring him a first round win. On 9/9 thousands rallied at Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in support of Navalny, who claimed the previous day’s vote was rigged. On 12/9 Moscow City Court dismissed an application by Navalny to call off the inauguration of Sergei Sobyanin as Moscow mayor. On 19/9 the Constitutional Court said it would review a law banning ex-convicts from running for office. 

Right of association 
Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin lodged an appeal against the law on foreign agents with the Constitutional Court. Chair of the Council for Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, proposed expanding sources for financing NGOs by increasing donations from Russian business and international charitable organizations. Moscow city authorities donated an office to For Human Rights, an NGO forcibly evicted from its previous home, free of charge for 49 years. On 6/9 US President Obama met Russian civil society activists while in St. Petersburg for the G20 summit. On 17/9 the Ministry of Justice ruled Komi Memorial Human Rights Commission was not a “foreign agent”. On 18/9 a Duma committee recommended lawmakers pass a bill providing additional grounds for unscheduled checks of NGOs. On 19/9 Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office said a Moscow court’s dismissal of an appeal by Golos against a fine violated freedom of association.

North Caucasus 
On 1/9 the North Ossetian town of Beslan began three days’ mourning on the ninth anniversary of the hostage taking that left 334 dead, including 186 children. On 9/9 President Putin called the activities of international human rights organizations in the North Caucasus "anti-Russian". On 11/9 authorities in Sochi began a campaign against illegal immigrants. On 16/9 three police officers were killed in attacks in Chechnya and Ingushetia. 

On 20/9 30 Greenpeace activists were detained when armed Russian security officers stormed the group's ship, Arctic Sunrise. On 26/9 a Murmansk court detained 22 Greenpeace activists until 24/11 on the grounds they are suspected of piracy. On 27/9, in protest at the detention of press photographer Denis Sinyakov, a number of Russian media websites placed blank spaces on their main pages. On 27/9 OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović called for the release of two journalists detained pending a piracy investigation. On 30/9 Greenpeace lodged appeals against the detentions. 

Right of assembly 
Local authorities prevented an annual rally in memory of victims of the Red Terror in St. Petersburg on 5/9. On 10/9 a Moscow court denied a request by Mikhail Kosenko, a suspect in the ‘Bolotnaya case’ on remand, to attend his mother’s funeral. On 21/9 supporters of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny said they were detained and beaten up by police. On 25/9 ten LGBT-rights protesters, including Nikolai Alekseev, were detained while picketing the Olympic headquarters in Moscow. On 30/9 a Moscow district court prolonged the pretrial detention of alleged protest organizer Leonid Razvozzhaev until 21/10. 

Pussy Riot 
Russia denied a visa to Milo Rau, a Swiss director, who planned to shoot a film about Pussy Riot. On 23/9 Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike in protest at prison conditions and a death threat. On 24/9 Tolokonnikova was moved to an isolation cell. On 24/9 the Presidential Human Rights Council said a group of its members travelled to investigate violations in the colony holding Tolokonnikova. Member of the Presidential Human Rights Council Ilya Shchablinsky said complaints by Tolokonnikova had a basis in fact. On 29/9, lawyers acting for Tolokonnikova said they had not been able to contact her since she had been hospitalized on 27/9.