Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2015‎ > ‎

December 2015

Right of association 
On 4/12 prosecutors declared the US-Russia Foundation ‘undesirable’. On 7/12 Team 29 asked the Justice Ministry to explain Russia Today’s lack of accountability. On 8/12 the Justice Ministry designated rights group Mashr a ‘foreign agent’. On 22/12 investigators searched offices and homes of staff of Open Russia (on 7/12 Mikhail Khodorkovsky said he had been formally charged with the 1998 killing of a Siberian mayor).

Right of assembly 
On 2/12 a Moscow court remanded Dmitry Buchenkov in custody in the 2012 Bolotnoe case. On 22/12 a Moscow court sentenced Ivan Nepomnyashchikh to 2.5 years for violence against police in the Bolotnoe case. On 30/12 Bolotnoe prisoner Leonid Razvozzhayev filed an appeal against his sentence. On 7/12 Ildar Dadin was sentenced to three years in prison for peaceful protests. On 10/12 Vladimir Ionov, on trial under the new law, was hospitalized; he later fled to Ukraine. On 12/12 at least 33 people were detained by Moscow police at a banned Constitution Day rally. On 14/12 one of the 34, Aleksandr Ryklin, was detained a second time, and on 15/12 fined for disobeying police on 12/12. Karl Mars was fined for the same offence. On 15/12 Russian cultural figures called for fund-raising to pay protestors’ legal costs. On 20/12 - 'Chekists' Day' – police detained 7 on Lubyanka Square. On 26/12 Mark Galperin was arrested in Moscow while picketing.

Freedom of expression 
For the first time in Russia, on 1/12 a court in Surgut sentenced Oleg Novozhenin to time in prison (one year) for online ‘propaganda of extremism.’ On 3/12 a Moscow court upheld the house arrest imposed on Natalya Sharina, director of the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature. On 3/12 Moscow City Court upheld the pre-trial detention of performance artist Petr Pavlensky, charged with vandalism. On 4/12 in Roman Zakharov v. Russia concerning secret surveillance of mobile phone communications, the ECtHR found a violation of Article 8. On 7/12 prosecutors launched an inspection of Dozhd TV. On 21/12 a Krasnodar court sentenced Polyudova to 2 years for inciting ‘extremism and separatism.’ (Amnesty International had called for her release) .On 17/12 activist Kirill Barabash was detained in Moscow in connection with alleged ‘extremism’. On 22/12 Evgeny Vitishko was freed on parole. On 30/12 blogger Vadim Tyumentsev was given 5 years in prison by a Tomsk court for online hate speech and calls to extremism.

On 15/12 President Putin signed into law a bill giving the Constitutional Court the right to decide whether to execute judgments of international courts or not. On 30/12 President Putin signed into a law a bill allowing FSB agents to fire on crowds.

North Caucasus 
On 16/12 police in Kizilyurt, Dagestan, shot dead three gunmen. On 21/12 Sultan Israilov, a prisoner from Chechnya, died in suspicious circumstances in a Chelyabinsk penal colony (inmates went on hunger strike in protest). On 24/12 police killed a suspected militant in Shamil, Chechnya. On 24/12 three alleged militants were killed in Karachay-Cherkessia. On 28/12 Ramzan Kadyrov threatened retribution for relatives of those who took part in protests against him outside Russia. On 30/12 the body was found of university lecturer Khizir Ezhiev, earlier detained by law enforcement personnel.

On 1/12 a report by Ukrainian rights activists alleged torture of captured Ukrainians in Donbas. On 9/12 UN monitors reported the death toll in east Ukraine exceeds 9,000. On 17/12 President Putin admitted the presence of Russian military personnel in east Ukraine. On 17/12 Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko went on hunger strike. On 15/12 Moscow City Court sentenced Ukrainian Valentyn Vyhovskiy, arrested last year in Crimea, to 11 years for espionage. On 8/12 human rights defender Sergei Krivenko urged the investigative bodies to look into the 159 army deaths reported in 2014 and 2015. On 23/12 Amnesty International said Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians.