Site Archive‎ > ‎Human rights week by week‎ > ‎2016‎ > ‎

January 2016

Right of assembly 
On 5/1 the European Court of Human Rights ruled Russian authorities had violated the rights of Evgeny Frumkin, jailed for taking part in the 2012 ‘Bolotnaya Square’ anti-government protest. On 19/1 an arrest warrant was issued for Vladimir Ionov, the first person charged under the new law on assembly, currently in Ukraine. On 22/1 Moscow city hall refused to allow the Yabloko party to hold a public protest calling for the removal of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. On 29/1 a Ryazan region court released Bolotnaya Square prisoner Aleksandr Margolin on parole. The Russian government appealed a ruling by the ECtHR in favour of three convicted in the Bolotnaya Square trials. 

Right of association 
The Justice Ministry designated the NGO Committee for the Prevention of Torture a ‘foreign agent’, even though the group received no foreign funding. On 22/1 the Justice Ministry published draft changes to the ‘foreign agent’ law amending the definition of ‘political activity.’ On 29/1 Vedomosti reported NGOs that have their ‘foreign agent’ status officially removed will remain on the Justice Ministry's list of foreign agents.

Freedom of expression 
On 12/1 Valery Fokin, artistic director of St Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky theatre, said theatres are required to get approval for new plays from the culture ministry. On 13/1 reports said 53 textbooks published with the support of the Soros Foundation — an NGO now deemed ‘undesirable’ in Russia— were burnt at a college in Komi. On 19/1 journalist Dmitry Shipilov announced he had received political asylum in Ukraine. On 27/1 reports said performance artist Petr Pavlensky had been transferred to the Serbsky Psychiatry Center to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Security services 
On 20/1 the Russian authorities refused to declassify KGB Soviet era archives (1917 to 1991). On 21/1 a UK public inquiry concluded the killing of Aleksandr Litvinenko was ‘probably’ approved by Putin. On 22/1 the Open Russia foundation published a statement reportedly signed by Litvinenko accusing the FSB of ordering the killing of Vladimir Petukhov, then-mayor of Nefteyugansk.

LGBT rights 
On 18/1 a Murmansk court fined local LGBT activist Sergei Alekseyenko for propagating ‘nontraditional sexual relations’ among minors.

Penitentiary system 
On 4/1 two prisoners, Anzor Mamaev and Nikolai Voloshin, who had reported that another prisoner, Sultan Israilov, had been killed, in Chelyabinsk penal colony No. 2 were said to have been removed from the facility to an unknown destination.

North Caucasus 
On 8/1 Buinaksk city court in Dagestan remanded Gadjimurad Gazichilov, a resident of Makhachkala whose family feared he had been kidnapped on 29/12, in custody for one month without charge. On 12/1 Ramzan Kadyrov declared representatives of the opposition should be treated as ‘enemies of the people’ and ‘traitors.’ On 13/1 the Committee for Prevention of Torture applied to the ECtHR on behalf of Murad Amriev who alleges Chechen law enforcement kidnapped and tortured him.

On 3/1 UK NGO Bellingcat said it believed at least 20 Russian soldiers ‘probably’ either fired the BUK missile that destroyed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 or know who fired it. On 21/1 a court in Crimea issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev. On 26/1 Chief Military Prosecutor Maksim Toporikov said he sees no grounds to re-examine circumstances of the deaths of 159 military servicemen, suspected to have been killed in Ukraine from 1/1/14 to 30/7/15. 

On 7/1 Ruslan Leviev and the Conflict Intelligence Team published a report alleging Russia is using cluster bombs in its air campaign supporting Syria’s embattled regime.