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April 2015

Environmental activists 
On 7/4 environmental activist Evgeny Vitishko went on hunger strike to protest the Supreme Court's refusal to consider his appeal for parole on 20/3. On 15/4 a Tambov region court rejected Vitishko's request for parole. On 19/4 reports said environmental activist Evgeniya Chirikova had fled with her family to Estonia.

Right of assembly 
On 2/4 it was reported Leonid Razvozzhaev, convicted of inciting riots at the May 2012 Bolotnaya Square rally, is to serve his sentence in Irkutsk. On 12/4 Razvozzhaev was denied permission to attend his mother's funeral. On 21/4 activist Sergei Mokhnatkin, sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for assaulting police, cut his wrists to protest his incarceration. On 25/4 a Novorossiisk court convicted five women of hooliganism for dancing at a war memorial, giving three jail terms. On 28/4 Moscow city authorities said there should be no rally on 6/5/15 marking the 2012 Bolotnaya Square events.

Right of association 
On 2/4 FSB officials in St Petersburg said they had detained two alleged members of banned Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. On 8/4 the Justice Ministry added Transparency International-Russia to the list of foreign agents. On 15/4 two NGOs were each fined 300,000 roubles for failing to register as ‘foreign agents’: the Centre for Media Rights and the Siberian Environment Centre. On 16/4 police searched the Moscow offices of Open Russia and confiscated computers. On 28/4 the Justice Ministry cancelled the legal registration of Party of Progress, led by Aleksei Navalny.

Freedom of expression 
On 6/4 a court in St. Petersburg authorized the blocking of the social-network page of Deti-404, an online support group for LGBT teenagers. On 8/4 the government adopted new regulations giving Roskomnadzor powers to exercise surveillance and censorship of social networks and private emails. On 30/4 the Twitter feed @igor_sechin was blocked inside Russia. On 5/4 journalist Vyacheslav Starodubets was briefly kidnapped in Dagestan and badly beaten. On 14/4 journalist Ekaterina Kholkina confirmed she had been fired from the Ekaterinburg newspaper Oblastnaya gazeta for an article stating the FSB had closed a major museum because of a photography exhibit co-organized by the U.S. Consulate. On 20/4 Moscow Regional Military Court convicted journalist Boris Stomakhin on charges of terrorism and extremism, sentencing him to 7 years in prison. On 27/4 Russian bookstores were removing Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust from shelves, reportedly because its cover shows a Nazi swastika. On 30/4 Finland’s Sanoma announced the sale of its 33.3% stake in Vedomosti and The Moscow Times, to Damian Kudryavtsev.

On 24/4 investigators charged Nadia Savchenko with illegally crossing the border into Russia. On 30/4 Savchenko was returned to a Moscow detention center after two days in a civilian hospital. On 6/4 the Kyiv Post reported Arseniy Pavlov, a Russian fighter better known as Motorola, confessed on tape to killing 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war. On 9/4 journalist Tatyana Guchakova, formerly of Black Sea News, was detained for questioning by FSB officers in Yalta after a search of her home. On 16/4 Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov was charged with terrorism and illegal weapons possession. On 21/4 a historian from Crimea, Oleksiy Chyrniy, was sentenced to 7 years in jail on terrorism charges. On 22/4 a Simferopol court ordered the detention of TV ATR cameraman Eskender Nebiyev on charges relating to a pre-annexation rally on 26/2/14 he covered in his professional capacity.

On 16/4 the European Court of Human Rights found Russia responsible of failing to investigate the death of a civilian bus driver in Grozny in 2001. On 21/4 head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov said his forces should shoot to kill security officers from outside Chechnya in the region without their knowledge after police from Stavropol shot dead Jambulat Dadaev, whom they had sought to detain in Grozny on 18/4.
Rights in Russia,
30 May 2015, 00:58