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Week-ending 26 December 2014


page blocked 

New page 

57 convicted 
in Nalchik 

Vladimir Yevtushenkov 


Right of association
On 25/12 the Justice Ministry designated as ‘foreign agent’ NGOs the Andrei Sakharov Centre, dedicated to defending human rights and preserving the legacy of dissidents and victims of Soviet repressions, the Kaliningrad-based Human Rights Center and a college alumni association in Krasnodar region. (The Moscow Times, 26/12)

Freedom of expression
On 21/12 a spokesman for Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, said a Facebook page inviting Alexei Navalny’s supporters to attend a rally on 15/1/15, the day his case’s verdict is announced, was blocked to Russian users on orders of the general prosecutor. When blocked, the Facebook event had over 12,000 people signed up. (The Guardian, 21/12)

As of 23/12 more than 27,000 people had used a new Facebook page to voice plans to attend a rally in support of Aleksei Navalny on 15/1/15. The Facebook page was created after Russian authorities ordered the blocking of a previous Facebook event page calling for a demonstration in support of Navalny, who is awaiting a verdict on fraud charges widely seen as politically motivated. (RFE/RL, 23/12)

Criminal justice system
On 23/12 Kabardino-Balkaria Republic Supreme Court passed sentence on 57 men accused of participating in attacks on police and security facilities in Nalchik in October 2005. Three received sentences shorter than the nine years they had spent in custody, and walked free; 54 received sentences from 10 years to life. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned the trial as unfair. (RFE/RL, 26/12; Amnesty International, 23/12; Human Rights Watch, 24/12)

On 25/12 Kommersant newspaper reported the Investigative Committee lifted all restrictions imposed on Vladimir Yevtushenkov, board chairman of AFK Sistema holding company, implicated in the Bashneft case. (RAPSI, 25/12)

On 22/12 a lawyer acting for journalist Oleg Kashin said a complaint had been filed against Russian investigators with the European Court of Human Rights for "inaction" during their investigation of the brutal beating that left Kashin in a coma in 2010. (The Moscow Times, 23/12)

Human rights defenders
On 25/12 Gleb Yakunin, a prominent priest, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and a former dissident who had fought for freedom of conscience in the former Soviet Union, died after a long illness in Moscow at the age of 80. (RFE/RL, 25/12)
Rights in Russia,
29 Dec 2014, 02:38