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February 2016

Freedom of expression 
On 1/2 reports said Roskomnadzor issued a warning to The New Times magazine after it published an investigation into Vladimir Putin's eldest daughter. On 11/2 Amnesty International urged the authorities to grant performance artist Petr Pavlensky, accused of setting fire to the main entrance of the FSB’s headquarters, access to his lawyer and contact with family, and ensure he is not subjected to ill-treatment. On 12/2 Human Rights Watch called on the authorities to immediately release Pavlensky. On 26/2 a Moscow court extended his pre-trial detention until 6/4. On 19/2 reports said political commentator Andrei Piontkovsky had left Russia, fearing possible persecution. On 19/2 three journalists were detained in Grozny and all their materials destroyed by police officers. On 20/2 a court in Ekaterinburg found Ekaterina Vologzheninova guilty of ‘inciting enmity’ for reposting or ‘liking’ material critical of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. On 24/2 Russian pensioners won a suit against Dozhd TV over a poll on the siege of Leningrad.

Right of association 
On 4/2 a military court sentenced five men in the Urals region to prison for being members of the banned organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. On 10/2 Tatarstan rights group, Agora Human Rights Association, was ordered shut by a court. On 11/2 at the Justice Ministry’s request a Moscow court closed election monitor Golos. On 15/2, deputy head of the NGO Citizens’ Watch in St Petersburg said the FSB had attempted to summon her for an 'informal discussion.' On 17/2 a Volgograd court fined two US activists from the U.S. NGO Center For Citizen Initiatives for violating visa rules. On 19/2 the Center for the Adaptation and Training of Refugee Children said it had been evicted from its offices. On 19/2 an amendment to NGO law was introduced to the State Duma on ‘political activity.’

Right of assembly 
On 16/2 the State Duma passed in first reading legislation classifying ‘road rallies’ as political demonstrations. On 27/2 more than 24,000 people took part in an officially sanctioned Moscow march in memory of Nemtsov. On 26/2 organizer of an upcoming march in Chelyabinsk in memory of Nemtsov had been assaulted.

Political activists 
On 1/2 Ramzan Kadyrov published a video on Instagram showing opposition leaders Mikhail Kasyanov and Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. overlaid with a sniper rifle scope. On 3/2 Kasyanov called for an investigation. On 9/2 Kasyanov was attacked in Moscow with a cake; on 11/2 he was pelted with eggs in Vladimir. On 12/2 a Moscow court rejected Aleksei Navalny's lawsuit against President Putin regarding an alleged conflict of interest. On 23/2 the ECtHR ruled Russia must pay compensation to Navalny for violating his right to fair trial. On 25/2 Navalny was attacked with cakes in Moscow.

Justice system 
On 12/2 Russia's Supreme Court confirmed that only 65 of properties recently demolished in Moscow had been constructed illegally. On 18/2 the Investigative Committee said it had launched an investigation into alleged torture at Ekaterinburg's Penal Colony No. 2. On 25/2 the Constitutional Court granted women the right to be tried by a jury. Under current law, regional courts only hold jury trials when the accused faces life imprisonment, which is not applicable to women. On 26/2 the Prosecutor General's Office reported prisoners did not receive sufficient amounts of medication to treat HIV and hepatitis last year.

On 2/2 Nadya Savchenko said she recognized Kremlin-connected Pavel Karpov as the driver of the car in which she was taken to Russia. On 4/2 the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Russia for its treatment of Crimean Tatars. On 15/2 the prosecutor in Crimea filed a request to ban the Crimean Tatars' Mejlis. On 17/2 reports said Hennadiy Afanasyev, a Ukrainian who recanted testimony he gave in the Oleh Sentsov trial, was transferred to a punishment cell and denied medical care. On 25/2 an Astrakhan court refused early release to son of Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev Khaiser Dzhemilev.