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November 2015

‘Political prisoners’ 
Memorial Human Rights Centre declared the following to be political prisoners: Gennady Kravtsov (on 2/11); Aleksandr Sokolov, Yury Mukhin and Valery Parfenov (on 3/11); and Natalya Sharina (on 16/11). On 17/11 rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova requested Oleg Navalny be allowed urgent dental treatment. On 18/11 in a closed trial a Moscow court sentenced physicist Maksim Liudomirsky to 9 years’ prison for high treason. On 23/11 Evgeny Vitishko went on hunger strike over moves to stop his parole.

Right of association 
On 4/11 Bellona reported the Justice Ministry had named a total of 100 'foreign agent' NGOs. The Justice Ministry designated as ‘foreign agents’: Memorial Research & Information Centre on 6/11, Glasnost Defence Foundation on 19/11, and Human Rights Institute on 20/11. On 6/11 the home and office of Magomed Mutsolgov, head of the Ingush human rights group Mashr, were searched by law enforcement agents. Mutsolgov was told he faces charges of ‘anti-Russian and subversive activities.’ On 9/11 the Justice Ministry accused Memorial Human Rights Centre of ‘undermining the constitutional order’; the next day the Ministry forwarded these accusations to a Moscow court. On 30/11 a Voronezh court dismissed an appeal by the Media Rights Defence Centre against ‘foreign agent’ status. On 30/11 the Prosecutor General’s Office classified Open Society Foundations as 'undesirable'.

Freedom of expression 
On 5/11 a Sakhalin court dismissed on appeal a ban on an Islamic text for extremism. On 24/11 President Putin signed a law exempting certain holy books from branding as extremist. On 6/11 a court in Petrozavodsk banned a video of city councillor Suayarvi Zavarkin as extremist; on 27/11 Zavarkin was fined 30,000 roubles for ‘inciting separatism.’ On 9/11 Moscow City Court ordered the permanent shutdown of On 11/11, regulator Roskomnadzor warned Twitter it must store Russian users' data in Russia. On 11/11 a Moscow court ordered performance artist Petr Pavlensky to be jailed till 8/12 pending trial for vandalism. On 13/11 the Kremlin instituted new guidelines for journalists following a leak of a military project on TV. On 24/11 a court in Chechnya blocked access to the Charlie Hebdo Twitter account. On 24/11 unknown assailants assaulted St. Petersburg journalist Aleksandr Kholodov. On 27/11 Wikipedia said it had suspended an editor who agreed to closer cooperation with the authorities on 'socially sensitive' entries.

Immigration cases 
On 12/11 St. Petersburg City Court ruled Zarina Yunusova, the mother of 5-month-old Tajik boy old Umarali Nazarov who died in police custody, should be deported to Tajikistan for immigration violations. On 16/11 Yunusova was deported from Russia together with the body of her baby son. On 18/11 prosecutors said the baby had lived in ‘unsuitable’ conditions. On 20/11 Syrian asylum applicant Gulistan Shaho Issa was fined 5,000 roubles for entering Russia illegally.

On 24/11 the military division of the Russian Supreme Court upheld verdicts against Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and his associate Aleksandr Kolchenko, sentenced to prison terms of 20 and 10 years respectively. On 25/11 a Moscow court sentenced three activists to 10 days in jail for attaching a Ukrainian flag to a landmark building in Moscow. On 25/11 a criminal case for contempt of court was lodged against Vera Savchenko. sister of Nadia Savchenko currently on trial. On 30/11 reports said Khaiser Dzhemiliev, son of Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev and in prison in Astrakhan, had been placed in a punishment cell for a second time.

Since 24/11, scores of Turkish citizens have been detained by immigration police at construction sites, Turkish-owned factories have been hit by unscheduled tax-police raids, and by 26/11 approximately 30 Turkish citizens had been denied entry into Russia.