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March 2014

On 3/3 Aleksei Navalny, under house arrest in Moscow, was ordered to wear an electronic tracking device. On 24/3 Moscow City Court dismissed Navalny’s appeal against house arrest. On 4/3 Moscow City Court upheld the pre-trial detention of activist Leonid Razvozzhaev. On 6/3 the Justice Ministry ruled Moscow rights group For Human Rights must suspend its activities until 10/8. On 6/3 Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were attacked by five young men in Nizhny Novgorod. On 13/3 the two officially announced the creation of a new prisoners’ rights center, Zone of Law. On 31/3 in an interview with environmentalist Evgeny Vitishko, sentenced to 3 years in a penal colony, described the conditions of his imprisonment in Tambov.

Right of assembly 
On 2/3 more than 360 protestors against military intervention in Ukraine were detained in Moscow. On 3/3 Moscow police detained a further 100 anti-war protestors. On 6/3 rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin [to be succeeded by Ella Pamfilova on 18/3] said crackdowns on unsanctioned opposition protests were illegal absent "a real threat to public safety." On 25/3 a Moscow court upheld the verdict against Bolotnaya prisoner Mikhail Kosenko, sentenced to indefinite compulsory psychiatric treatment. On 30/3 in Moscow police arrested three people taking part in single-person pickets in memory of activists killed in Kiev. On 31/3 United Russia deputy Aleksandr Sidyakin submitted to the State Duma a bill introducing prison terms for repeat violations of the law on public rallies.

Freedom of expression 
On 3/3 TV channel Dozhd said it would shut down in a month if cable and satellite providers continue to boycott it. On 24/3 Dozhd launched a fundraising campaign. On 3/3 the government media agency blocked 13 Internet pages linked to the Ukraine protests. On 6/3 a court in Khabarovsk ordered access be ‘restricted’ to three websites: Wikipedia, Yandex and Kinopoisk. On 13/3 Internet service providers blocked access to several opposition sites and the LiveJournal blog of Aleksei Navalny. On 4/3 Andrei Zubov, a professor at MGIMO, was fired for writing an opinion piece opposing the invasion of Ukraine. On 12/3 Galina Timchenko, editor of, was fired for publishing an interview with a Ukrainian nationalist. On 18/3 President Putin in a national address referred to a so-called fifth column of ‘national traitors’.

On 1/3 the Federation Council approved President Putin's request for troops to be used in Ukraine. On 1/3 International Memorial Society said the decision to send troops to Ukraine was a ‘crime’. On 3/3 Russia said it was prepared to hire ex-Ukrainian police officers. On 9/3 three Ukrainian journalists were reported missing after being detained by armed men at checkpoints; other journalists reported being assaulted. On 15/3 an estimated 50,000 people took part in a Moscow March for Peace. On 16/3 Simferopol resident Reshat Ametov was found dead and bearing marks of torture, nearly two weeks after he went missing after participating in a 3/3 protest against the Russian troop presence in Crimea. On 16/3 Crimean officials said 97% of voters in a referendum that day had backed splitting from Ukraine. On 17/3 President Putin signed an order recognising Crimean independence. On 18/3 Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia. On 18/3 a Crimean deputy Prime Minister called on Crimean Tatars to vacate part of their land. On 20/3 the Kremlin announced residents Crimea had one month to choose between Russian and Ukrainian citizenships. A bill obliging citizens to inform the authorities if they have dual citizenship, and making concealment of this a criminal offence, was going through the State Duma as of 27/3. On 20/3 two activists, missing since 13/3, and six other hostages (one injured) were released on the border between mainland Ukraine and the Crimea. On 24/3 Russian troops seized control of a Crimean naval base at Feodosia, the third such attack in 48 hours. On 31/3 the Russian Justice Ministry opened regional offices in Crimea.
Rights in Russia,
21 Apr 2014, 07:56