Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2015‎ > ‎

October 2015

Right of association
On 1/10 Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the fine imposed on the Sakharov Centre under the ‘foreign agent’ law. On 1/10 at a meeting of the Human Rights Council with President Putin, Liudmila Alekseeva called for the repeal of the ‘foreign agent’ law. President Putin in response promised to amend the law. On 27/10 reports said the Justice Ministry has proposed legal amendments making the ‘foreign agent’ law more restrictive. On 5/10 Committee Against Torture in Nizhny Novgorod filed for bankruptcy since it is unable to pay fines imposed under the ‘foreign agent’ law. On 5/10 three suspected members of the banned Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir were remanded in custody for two months in Chelyabinsk region. On 7/10 the Justice Ministry refused to exclude Golos from the ‘foreign agent’ list. On 12/10 Bellona Murmansk closed down as a result of being designated a ‘foreign agent’. On 21/10 police in Alabuga, Tatarstan, detained activists of the Tatar Public Center and a journalist. On 27/10 the Rostov region's Don Women rights group was designated a ‘foreign agent.’

Freedom of expression
On 1/10 police detained Mikhail Anshakov, head of the Society for Consumer Rights Protection which had issued a warning to tourists of the legal consequences of visiting Crimea. On 28/10 a Moscow court dismissed an appeal by Anshakov against the charges. On 8/10 a court in Krasnoyarsk banned online dissemination of information about bribes. On 15/10 rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova officially called for an investigation into allegations Pskov region governor Andrei Turchak was involved in the 2010 assault on journalist Oleg Kashin. On 20/10 Nature reported that a biology institute at Moscow State University had instructed staff to get FSB approval for all research manuscripts before publication. On 20/10 Amnesty International urged Russian authorities to drop the prosecution of Ekaterina Vologzheninova, facing trial for ‘inciting hatred and enmity’ for social media posts. On 31/10 satirists Dmitry Vinnik and Yevgeny Glebov demanded the release of Darya Polyudova, jailed for reposting one of their video clips. In October both Denmark's Egmont Media Group and Swedish Modern Times Group announced they were leaving the Russian market as the result of a law restricting foreign media ownership.

Right of assembly 
On 17/10 two people were detained at a Moscow rally against Russian air strikes in Syria. On 19/10 a Ryazan region court granted parole to Aleksei Polikhovich, one of the Bolotnaya Square prisoners. On 24/10 pro-Kremlin activists attacked 75-year-old Vladimir Ionov holding a protest picket in Moscow.

Police / prisons 
On 6/10 environmental activist Evgeny Vitishko's lawyer said his client was on hunger strike in protest at being denied parole. In Rostov-on-Don environmental activist Roman Milchenko, charged with assaulting police, filed a complaint alleging assault by police officers on 10/10. On 19/10 a man under investigation for bribery in Rostov-on-Don died after apparently falling from a 9th-floor window in the Investigative Committee building. On 19/10 child rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov urged authorities to investigate the death of Umarali Nazarov, a five-month old Tajik baby, who died on 14/10 after allegedly being separated from his parents in police custody.

On 5/10 Rostov region court upheld a ruling to prolong Nadezhda Savchenko's stay in jail until January. On 13/10 Russian authorities prevented Savchenko’s sister, Vera, from testifying in her defence. On 8/10 a regional court in Bryansk region found Viktor Shur guilty of spying for Ukraine and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. On 13/10 Novaya gazeta reported that a total of five Russian contract soldiers have been sentenced to terms in prison over their unwillingness to fight in Ukraine. On 28/10 police detained director of the Library of Ukrainian literature Natalya Sharina and searched her home and the Library.