New prosecution of rights defender Tatiana Kotlyar

posted 16 Nov 2016, 09:57 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Nov 2016, 09:58 ]
7 November 2016


The well-known civic activist and human rights defender Tatiana Kotlyar of Obninsk in the Kaluga region may be subject to criminal prosecution under Article 322.3 of the Criminal Code (fictive statement on place of residence for a foreign national), Regnum and ОVD-Info report, citing the lawyer Illarion Vasiliev as source.

The prominent rights activist, laureate of a Moscow Helsinki Group award for "acting in defence of civil rights and the interests of local communities", registered 187 people as residents at her own address, the overwhelming majority of whom are refugees from the war zones in Ukraine.

She did so entirely selflessly, to help these people receive Russian Federation citizenship. To apply for citizenship it is crucial to have a registered place of residence.

Officials don't provide any assistance in this area, and the landlords from whom Ukrainians rent more often than not refuse to register their tenants with them.

A hundred migrants helped by Tatiana Kotlyar have already succeeded in their applications for Russian citizenship in the framework of the government program to resettle Russian ‘compariots’ who have been living abroad.

In 2014 the authorities already brought criminal charges against the Obninsk rights defender for registering migrants at her apartment. In that case an attempt was made to send Kotlyar for psychiatric assessment, but that decision was later revoked.

Commenting on the 2014 criminal case, Tatiana Lotlyar noted that there is simply nowhere for people arriving in the Kaluga region to register, and she was for that reason obliged to register them at her own apartment.

On 9 November 2015 the rights activist was found guilty and fined 150 000 roubles; she was subsequently amnestied and had her penalty lifted in accordance with the amnesty declared on the 70th anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II.

Translated by Alissa Leigh-Valles