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November 2014

Right of association 
On 13/11 the Supreme Court postponed, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, a hearing in the case of the Russian Memorial Society, which the Ministry of Justice is seeking to close. On 10/11 the Constitutional Court said it has accepted an application by three human rights NGOs against a law permitting unscheduled inspections of NGOs. On 12/11 the Prosecutor’s Office began an unscheduled inspection of the Committee Against Torture. On 27/11 the Supreme Court ruled prosecutors’ inspections of NGOs have been lawful. On 20/11 the Ministry of Justice registered two more Russian NGOs - Regional Press Institute and - as ‘foreign agents’. On 26/11 the Supreme Court upheld a decision to collect an additional 1.2 million roubles’ tax from Golos. On 27/11 reports said the Justice Ministry has refused to drop Golos from the ‘foreign agent’ register.

Freedom of expression 
On 5/11 President Putin urged historians and history teachers to combat what he called attempts to rewrite history based on geopolitical interests. On 6/11 Gazprom-Media said Ekho Moskvy journalist Aleksandr Plyushchev had been fired for tweeting about the death of a son of Sergei Ivanov, President Putin's chief of staff. On 14/11 Mikhail Lesin, head of Gazprom-Media, called for a vote of Ekho Moskvy's board of directors on 21/11 to determine key appointments and policy at the station. On 18/11 the station’s chief editor, Aleksei Venediktov, filed a complaint against a warning issued by Roskomnadzor over a broadcast about events in Donetsk. On 19/11 Gazprom Media rescinded its order that Aleksandr Plyushchev be fired and cancelled the scheduled vote of the broadcaster's board. As of 24/11 Ekho Moskvy said it was drafting rules for employees’ behaviour on social media. On 10/11 Kommersant editor Mikhail Mikhailin said he is to step down after Rosneft had threatened to sue Kommersant over a report about alleged countersanctions. On 12/11 Oleg Potapenko, editor of news website, said he had been prevented from traveling abroad from Khabarovsk airport. On 14/11 a St. Petersburg court dismissed a complaint by Anna Shargorodskaya, director of the Regional Press Institute, against customs officials at Pulkovo airport.

LGBT rights 
On 18/11 Roskomnadzor said a journalist who runs an online support group for LGBT teenagers would be charged under the law on promoting "gay propaganda" to minors. Reports said LGBT activists Artur Akhmetgaliyev (on 25/11) and Kirill Kalugin (on 26/11) have applied for political asylum in Germany. On 25/11 lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov, acting for an LGBT activist, said he was attacked after leaving a St. Petersburg court.

Freedom of confession 
On 12/11 the Supreme Court approved Russia's first region-wide ban (in Samara) of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious group, deeming them ‘extremist’.

Aleksei Navalny 
On 5/11 the Investigative Committee brought charges in absentia against Navalny associate Nikita Kulachenkov in the case of an alleged theft of a painting in Vladimir. On 7/11 Christian Melnik, a director of cosmetics company Yves Rocher Vostok, said in court his company had no claims against Aleksei Navalny or his brother Oleg.

On 10/11 Lev Shlosberg published a letter from military prosecutors in which they refused to shed light on deaths of paratroopers allegedly killed in Ukraine. On 17/11 Moscow City Court upheld the detention of roofer Vladimir Podrezov, charged with painting the star and hoisting a Ukrainian flag on a Moscow skyscraper on 20/8. On 25/11 Crimean Tatar Edem Ebulisov was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer in May.

North Caucasus 
On 21/11 officials in Dagestan said local police had killed two suspected militants in Derbent. On 17/11 four alleged militants were killed and two police officers wounded in a gun battle near the village of Sernovodskaya in Chechnya.