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Week-ending 9 September 2016







Kuznetsova replaces Astakhov 


Freedom of expression 
On 5/9 a court in Chechnya sentenced local journalist Zhalaudi Geriev, who worked for Caucasian Knot, to three years in prison on dubious drug possession charges. Human Rights Watch said it has no doubt Geriev is being punished for his work as a journalist. (Human Rights Watch, 6/7) 

On 7/9 investigators in Moscow filed extremism charges against David Nuriev, better known as the rapper ‘Ptakha’ for allegedly insulting members of the ‘Anti-Dealer’ movement, an anti-narcotics group, at a Moscow concert. (The Moscow Times, 7/9) 

On 7/9 Amnesty International declared Ruslan Sokolovsky, a 21-year-old law student and blogger from Ekaterinburg currently in pre-trial detention and facing up to five years’ imprisonment for a video he published showing himself playing Pokemon GO in a church, a prisoner of conscience. (Amnesty International, 7/9) 

On 8/9 Sverdlovsk regional court transferred video-blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky to house arrest. (RFE/RL, 8/9) 

Right of association 
On 5/9 leading independent polling agency Levada Centre was labelled a ‘foreign agent’ by the justice ministry and said it cannot now work. The Centre cannot now conduct any work linked to the election campaign. (BBC, 5/9) 

On 5/9 the Ministry of Justice began an audit of International Memorial Society audit to determine whether it should be designated as a ‘foreign agent.’ (RFE/RL, 7/9) 

Freedom of conscience 
On 5/9 the Mormon church said it had cut the number of missionaries being sent to Russia, saying the adjustment was forced by Russia's new antiterrorism law. (RFE/RL, 6/7) 

Children’s rights ombudsperson 
On 9/9 President Putin accepted the resignation of children's rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov. His replacement is Anna Kuznetsova, who has headed an association of groups supporting families since 2015. (RFE/RL, 9/9) 

North Caucasus 
On 5/9 the Russian authorities said two militants, who were involved in a series of terrorist attacks, and one security officer, had been killed in Magaramkent, Dagestan. (RFE/RL, 5/9) 

On 7/9 Crimean Tatar activist Ilmi Umerov, former deputy chair of the Crimean Tatars' Mejlis charged with separatism, was released from a psychiatric hospital in Crimea where he had been forcibly held since August and where he said conditions were a threat to his physical health. (RFE/RL, 7/9)
Rights in Russia,
18 Sep 2016, 13:40