Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2015‎ > ‎

May 2015

Freedom of expression 
On 2/5 Vladimir Putin signed a law increasing fines on media for ‘propaganda of extremism’. On 5/5 Ukrainian blogger and activist Liza Bohutska, now living in Kiev, was summoned by the FSB for questioning in Crimea. On 8/5 Facebook apologized for briefly deleting a post by journalist Sergei Parkhomenko, critical of the official Russian stance over the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Right of assembly 
On 2/5 Novosibirsk performance artist Artem Loskutov was sentenced to 10 days in prison, and on 3/5 he was fined 5,000 roubles for two ‘unauthorized’ events with absurdist slogans (‘monstrations’). On 3/5 Amnesty International declared Loskutov a ‘prisoner of conscience’. On 6/5 at least 46 people marking the 3rd anniversary of the 2012 Bolotnaya Square rally were detained. On 8/5 Amnesty International declared three of the protestors who were jailed on 6/5 ‘prisoners of conscience’. On 11/5, 24 people were detained at peaceful actions to mark the birthday of Nadia Savchenko. On 30/5 police broke up an unsanctioned gay rights rally in Moscow, detaining around 20 people.

Right of association 
On 23/5 President Putin signed into force a law banning the activities of foreign NGOs should they be viewed as threats to national security (the bill was approved by the State Duma on 19/5 and by the Federation Council on 20/5). On 25/5 two NGOs, Dynasty Foundation and Liberal Mission, were added to the 'foreign agent' register. Dmitry Zimin said on 26/5 he would no longer fund the Dynasty Foundation 'in light of its new legal status.' On 26/5 President Putin appointed Liudmila Alekseeva, chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, to the Kremlin's Human Rights Council. Alekseeva said her main concern was the impact of the ‘foreign agent’ law. On 27/5 the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) expressed deep concern over the fining and expulsion from Russia of staff of the Danish Institute Against Torture visiting the Committee Against Torture.

Security of person On 6/5 at least one prisoner was killed and 15 injured as a result of a riot at a prison in Nizhny Novgorod region. On 18/5 a pre-inquest hearing into the 2012 death of Russian businessman Aleksandr Perepilichny in the UK was told he may have been poisoned. On 26/5 journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr, who works for Open Russia, was admitted to hospital in a critical condition on suspected poisoning. 

On 9/5 members of the public were kept away from a Victory Day parade held in Grozny. On 15/5 reports said journalist Elena Milashina had left Chechnya amid fears for her safety, after writing about a teenager’s forced marriage to a police commander. 

On 6/5 a court in Moscow extended the pretrial detention of Nadia Savchenko until 30/6. On 15/5 a court in Crimea sentenced Maidan activist Oleksandr Kostenko to over 4 years in prison for allegedly injuring a officer in 2014 in Kyiv. On 12/5 opposition leaders published a report, Putin. War, initiated by slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov detailing alleged Russian military involvement in Ukraine. On 14/5 PayPal blocked an account set up by activists to raise funds for the report. On 18/5 Sergei Kholkin, a conscript from Murmansk, filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights alleging he had been deprived of his right to alternative service. On 20/5 activists investigating the deaths of three soldiers said evidence indicates the Russian army is operating in Ukraine. On 21/5 OSCE mediators said two men detained by Ukrainian authorities had confirmed they were Russian soldiers. On 21/5 seven people were detained in Crimea as they marked Ukrainian Embroidery Day. On 28/5 President Putin amended a decree to extend the list of state secrets to include information on casualties during peacetime. On 6/5 Akhtem Chiygoz, deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, went on hunger strike at the pre-trial facility where he is held on remand. On 25/5 the Supreme Court in Crimea refused to release Chiygoz.
Rights in Russia,
5 Jul 2015, 12:57