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May 2014

Right of assembly 
On 6/5, 12 activists and one journalist were taken into custody after they unfurled banners on Bolotnaya Square to mark the two-year anniversary of the May 2012 protest. On 26/5 Polina Strongina was charged with ‘participating in mass riots’ for taking part in the May 2012 protest. On 28/5 a Moscow court remanded Dmitry Ishevsky in custody until 27/7 on charges of using violence against a law enforcement officer at the same event.

On 5/5 President Putin signed into law a bill requiring bloggers with over 3,000 daily visitors to register as media outlets; on 5/5 he signed a law making it a crime to justify or deny Nazi war crimes. On 23/5 the State Duma passed in third reading a bill requiring Russians to declare dual citizenship. On 26/5 reports said Roskomnadzor had drafted rules enabling it to block foreign messaging websites not registered with the authorities.

Lawyers, activists, journalists 
Lawyers Sapiyat Magomedova and Musa Suslanov continue to face death threats in connection with their work in Dagestan, most recently on 3/5. On 6/5 a Moscow court dismissed an appeal against the blocking of the website. On 14/5 Moscow City Court ordered Aleksei Navalny, currently under house arrest, to pay 500,000 roubles to Konstantin Kostin for defamatory statements on his blog. On 23/5 the Investigative Committee opened a fraud case into election funding against Navalny’s financial backers. On 27/5 officials said Navalny had broken the conditions of his pretrial house arrest by using the Internet. On 20/5 a court in Moscow found five men guilty of the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. On 21/5 a Dagestan court sentenced rights defender Zarema Bagavutdinova to five years in prison on terrorism charges in a closed trial Memorial Human Rights Centre called politically motivated. Asylum seekers from Uzbekistan Dilshodbek Nazarov and Davronbek Mamazhonov were abducted in Kaliningrad on 26/5 and 27/5.

On 4/5, the website of the Presidential Human Rights Council posted a report that was quickly taken down purporting to say the turn out in the March referendum to annex Crimea was only 30 percent, of whom half voted for annexation. On 3/5 the authorities said thousands of Crimean Tatars who protested against the banning of their spiritual leader from Crimea by blocking highways would be prosecuted. On 18/5 at least 10,000 people took part in a rally on the outskirts of Simferopol carrying placards calling for "self-determination" as Crimean Tatars commemorated 70 years since their deportation by Stalin. On 18/5 Russia’s FSB moved arrested Crimean film director, Oleg Sentsov, to Lefortovo remand prison in Moscow. Ukrainian citizens and Crimea residents Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko, who are among a group of detainees from Russian-occupied Crimea detained and transferred to Moscow on 23/5, were denied access to their lawyers until 27/5 and 28/5 respectively.

Right of association 
On 12/5 the Ministry of Justice proposed giving prosecutors powers to suspend NGOs they believe are ‘foreign agents’ that refuse to register as such. On 12/5 the Presidential Human Rights Council condemned the bill. On 13/5 at least six prominent NGOs were reported subjected to recent unscheduled inspections. On 14/5 a Novocherkassk court ruled Women of the Don Union should register as a ‘foreign agent’. On 23/5 Memorial Human Rights Centre lost its appeal against a ruling to register as a ‘foreign agent’.

Anti-terrorism operations 
On 1/5 two suspected militants were killed in a special operation in Chistai, Tatarstan. On 7/5 security forces and police in Semender, Dagestan, killed four alleged terrorists. On 15/5 three police officers were killed in Dagestan’s Gunib district. On 30/5 a militant was reported killed in Gunib. On 24/5 five suspected militants were killed in a security operation in Sagopshi, Ingushetia. On 28/5 the leader of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, threatened measures to "punish" relatives of members of illegal armed groups.
Rights in Russia,
30 Jun 2014, 08:45