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26 July 2017

posted by Rights in Russia   [ updated ]

'Bolotnaya' Protester Released From Russian Prison After Serving Term
One of several activists imprisoned following clashes at a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his current term has been released after serving a 38-month sentence. Dmitry Ishevsky was freed from a prison in the Yaroslavl region northeast of Moscow on July 26. Ishevsky was one of more than 400 people detained after clashes erupted between police and demonstrators at the May 6, 2012 rally on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square. [...]

Source: RFE/RL [26 July 2017]

Cooordinator Of Navalny's Volgograd Staff Charged With Desecrating Russian Symbols
The coordinator of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s election staff in the city of Volgograd has been charged with desecrating Russian military symbols. The Russian Investigative Committee said on July 26 that Aleksei Volkov was ordered not leave the city before his trial. A date for the trial has not been determined. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [26 July 2017]

Inmates at Urals Prison Go On Hunger Strike
Inmates at a prison in the Urals have gone on a hunger strike, with some demands including visitation rights for multiple wives and English-language conversation. Fifteen inmates from the labor camp No. 5 in the city of Nizhny Tagil started their hunger strike on July 19, the RIA Novosti news agency reported this week, citing a spokesperson for the local branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN). Regional prosecutors say the inmates are using the strike to force out the prison leadership and soften the regime at the high-security prison. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [26 July 2017]

Crimean Tatar Mejlis ban challenged after UN Court’s damning ruling on Russia ban
Representatives of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis have lodged a formal application with the High Court in Russian-occupied Crimea asking for a review of Russia’s ban of this self-governing body of the main indigenous people of Crimea. The grounds could not be more compelling, since the new circumstances cited are the decision by the UN’s International Court of Justice demanding that Russia stop discriminatory measures against Crimean Tatars, and in particular, the ban on the Mejlis. Several individual applications were lodged a week after the de facto prosecutor in Crimea informed the First Deputy Head of the Mejlis, Nariman Dzhelyal that it was seeking ‘clarification’ about the ban following the ICJ’s decision. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [26 July 2017]

Russian activist Dadin’s fine for unauthorized protest upheld
The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling to fine Russian activist Ildar Dadin 20,000 rubles ($330) for holding an unauthorized one-person picket near the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) building, his lawyer Nikolay Zboroshenko told RAPSI on Wednesday. The court thus found Dadin guilty of violating the picketing rules. On July 5, Dadin was arrested near the FSB building during his one-man protest in support of opposition activist Yury Gorsky, who had been earlier arrested on suspicion of calls to extremism, Zboroshenko told RAPSI earlier. [...]
Source: RAPSI [26 July 2017]

Number of ECtHR complaints from Russia down 4 times – Human Rights Commissione
The number of complaints Russians filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has been down fourfold, Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights said during the National Educational Youth Forum “Terra Scientia” on Wednesday. Moskalkova also spoke on the development of the Russian judicial system. Citing relevant facts, she noted that the national judiciary had certain advantages as compared with the European court system. The ombudsman pointed out as an example that for instance the EHCR examined complaints for too long and applied vague criteria when deciding on admissibility of applications. [...] 

Source: RAPSI [26 July 2017]

25 July 2017

posted 25 Jul 2017, 13:13 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Jul 2017, 13:13 ]

Charges Dropped Against Activist for 'Non-Compliance' With Foreign Agents Law
Investigators have closed a case against a human rights activist suspected of “malicious non-compliance with the duties of a foreign agent.” Valentina Cherevatenko, head of the Women of the Don NGO in Novocherkassk in southern Russia, was the first person to be prosecuted under the law. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [25 July 2017 - see also Front Line Defenders]

Young Men Detained For Criticizing Kadyrov in Online Messenger
Around 10 young men were detained in Chechnya for allegedly criticizing the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, in online messengers, the Kavkaz.Realii news outlet reported Tuesday. The men were reportedly detained earlier in July in the North Caucasus republic’s capital Grozny and in the city of Shali for sharing video clips critical of Kadyrov, Kavkaz.Realii reported, citing an anonymous local source. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [25 July 2017]

Rights group Memorial names 'disappeared' Chechens

The Russian human rights group Memorial has named 13 detainees among 27 feared to have been secretly shot dead by police in Chechnya. The group said it pressed Chechen officials for information on the missing men, but "they refused to tell us whether they were dead or alive". Memorial spoke to family and friends of the 13, after Novaya Gazeta had spoken of 27 shot dead one night in January. A Chechen minister condemned the Novaya Gazeta report as a "lie". [...]

Source: BBC [25 July 2017]

Russian Terrorism Suspects Allege Torture At 'Secret' FSB Site
Lawyers for two Kyrgyz-born brothers charged in a deadly bombing on a St. Petersburg subway train in April have asked Russian authorities to investigate their clients' claims that they were tortured at a "secret jail" outside Moscow. The suspects, Akram and Abror Azimov, claim they were subjected to electric shocks, simulated drowning, and beatings at the facility allegedly used by Russia's powerful Federal Security Service (FSB), according to an appeal to federal authorities filed by their lawyers earlier this month. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [25 July 2017]

Jailed Crimean journalist beaten for complaining that he wasn’t given food
Crimean journalist Alexei Nazimov, who has been in detention since October 2016 on questionable and suspiciously fluid charges, has reported being beaten and subjected to other forms of gross ill-treatment from convoy guards taking him to and from the court. His lawyer Alexei Ladin recently reported that Nazimov and Alushta politician Pavel Stepanchenko are refused any food or drink during days when they are due in court for the largely automatic detention extensions or appeals against them. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [25 July 2017]

Russian Police Disperse Rally In Support Of Navalny In Siberia
Police in the Siberian city of Kemerovo have dispersed a rally being held in support of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, who is bidding to run in next year’s presidential election. Police briefly detained several activists and dismantled a campaign stand giving out posters and Russian national flags on July 25. The activists say they had requested permission to hold the rally, but with no answer from the local authorities they assumed permission had been granted. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [25 July 2017]

European Court Orders Russia To Pay Compensation To Man Convicted In Nemtsov's Killing
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay 6,000 euros ($6,990) in compensation to a man convicted of involvement in Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov's killing. The court ruled on July 25 that Moscow must pay compensate Temirlan Eskerkhanov, who complained about the conditions of his pretrial arrest, the conditions of his transport in the convoy cell, and the lack of a speedy review of the grounds of his detention. [...]

Source: RFE/RL [25 July 2017]

Upper house of Russian parliament backs ban on anonymizers
The Federation Council of Russia has approved a bill prohibiting the use of technologies enabling access to blocked websites, also known as anonymizers, the upper house of the Russian parliament informs on Tuesday. The bill has been presented to the senators by Lyudmila Bokova, Deputy Chair of the Council’s Committee on Constitutional Law and State Building. [...]
Source: RAPSI [25 July 2017]

Tatarstan, the Last Region to Lose Its Special Status Under Putin
Kazan looks on as a deal granting it special status expires
The special status that Russia’s Tatarstan republic has enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union ended on Monday, when its agreement with the federal government expired. The republic had once been among 46 Russian regions that negotiated a degree of self-rule with the Kremlin after the Soviet Union’s collapse. But by July 24 this year, only Tatarstan had retained a semblance of that autonomy. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [25 July 2017]

Two persons disappear in Ingushetia
20-year-old Ilyas Teboev and 19-year-old Khavzh-Bagaudin Kurtoev, residents of Malgobek, disappeared on July 19. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for Ingushetia addressed citizens with a request to help in their search. On July 19, two local residents report to the Ingush MIA on the disappearance of the young people. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [24 July 2017]

On July 17-23, 2017, there were no victims of the armed conflict in Northern Caucasus
During the week from July 17 to July 23, 2017, there were no casualties or wounded persons in the armed conflict in Northern Caucasus. These are the results of the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot" based on its own materials and information from other open sources. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [25 July 2017]

For Russia’s students, the price of protest can be high
Two weeks ago, a third-year law student In Kaliningrad, at the western end of Russia, learned he was being expelled from his university. The management of the Kant Baltic Federal University denied that Oleg Alexeev’s role in organising a public protest on 12 June had anything to do with their decision. However, the sequence of events that led to Alexeev’s expulsion suggests otherwise. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [author: Vladislav Lobanov; 25 July 2015]

24 July 2017

posted 24 Jul 2017, 14:01 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Jul 2017, 14:07 ]

Imprisoned Russian Activist Mokhnatkin Starts Hunger Strike
A Russian opposition activist who is in prison after being convicted of assaulting police during a protest has started a hunger strike. Rights activist Yelena Efros told Ekho Moskvy radio on July 24 that Sergei Mokhnatkin is protesting the failure of administrators of the prison in the remote northern town of Kotlas to provide him with adequate medical care. Mokhnatkin, 63, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in 2014 after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers during a December 2013 antigovernment protest in Moscow. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [24 July 2017]

Russians Protest Internet Censorship
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Moscow on July 23 to protest against a crackdown on online speech. 
Source: RFE/RL [24 July 2017]

Math Professor Dmitry Bogatov Placed Under House Arrest
A math professor and software developer charged with inciting terrorism has been released from pre-trial detention and placed under house arrest, Russian media reports. Dmitry Bogatov, 25, was detained on April 10 after investigators linked him to online posts calling for arson and civil disobedience. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [24 July 2017]

Metro Bombing Suspects Allege 'Russian Guantanamo' Near Moscow
Two suspects in an investigation into a deadly St. Petersburg metro attack say they were held and tortured in a “secret prison” run by the Federal Security Service, the Republic news outlet reports. Brothers Abror and Akram Azimov from Kyrgyzstan have lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, accusing the FSB of holding them in a basement outside Moscow for two weeks, the report said. Abror Azimov has said men who claimed to be retired FSB officers subjected him to electric shocks and fake drowning. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [24 July 2017]

Most Requests to Remove Online Content Come From Russia, Google Says
Russia has come out on top of a ranking of government requests to have online content removed or blocked, according to Google’s latest Transparency Report. Last year, the Russian authorities filed more than 13,000 requests with the search engine to have online content on Google platforms removed, including on YouTube. Compared to 2015, the number of requests from the Russian authorities increased by 478 percent. Most were received in the second half of 2016, the report shows. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [22 July 2017]

Rights defenders see ROC's influence in judicial ban of Jehovah's Witnesses*
The ban of religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses by the Supreme Court (SC) of the Russian Federation has to do with the increased influence of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), headed by Patriarch Kirill, on the policy of Russian authorities, Lyudmila Alekseeva, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), is convinced. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 20 the Russia's SC granted the claim of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on liquidation of 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses. "The Patriarch believes that if other religions are banned, everyone will probably join the ROC," Ms Alekseeva has suggested in her comment to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "However, everyone will remain in his/her faith." [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [22 July 2017]

Magomed Aushev's relatives report deterioration of his health condition
Magomed Aushev, subjected to torture after his detention by law enforcers, suffers from persistent headaches, his vision has deteriorated sharply, and his family is short of money for his medical treatment in a specialized rehabilitation centre. This was told to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent by relatives of Magomed Aushev. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the investigation into the Magomed Aushev's complaint about torture was suspended and resumed after the detention of officers from the Ingush Centre for Combating Extremism (CCE), suspected of using torture, which resulted in the death of Magomed Daliev, a resident of the republic. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [22 July 2017]

Austrian authorities decide to deport Chechen native to Russia
Today, in Vienna, the migration department of Austria has decided to deport 37-year-old Aslan, a Chechen refugee, who lived in the country for more than 7 years. This was reported by his advocate Andreas Lepsi. According to the advocate, during five years, the native of Chechnya five times submitted documents for obtaining the status of refugee. Nevertheless, his application was refused. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [21 July 2017]

Updated Submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concerning Russia
This memorandum, submitted to the United Nations Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“the Committee”), ahead of its review on Russia, highlights areas of concern that Human Rights Watch hopes will inform the Committee’s consideration of the Russian government’s compliance with the covenant. This memorandum provides updates to information submitted to the Committee on January 25, 2017. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [24 July 2017]

21 July 2017

posted 21 Jul 2017, 12:09 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Jul 2017, 12:58 ]

Russian Duma Passes Bill Tightening Internet Restrictions
The Russian parliament's lower house has passed a bill that would prohibit the use of Internet proxy services including virtual private networks, or VPNs. The bill, approved in its third and final reading in the State Duma on July 21, would also ban the anonymous use of mobile messaging services. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [21 July 2017]

Putin Sparks Controversy With Remarks On Russian, Minority Languages
Russian President Vladimir Putin is receiving both criticism and praise online over remarks he made about the languages of ethnic minorities in the diverse country. Visiting the Republic of Mari El on July 20, Putin suggested that ethnic Russians were being forced to learn the languages of minorities in regions that have sizable minority populations. "It is impermissible to force someone to learn a language that is not [his or her] mother tongue, as well as to cut the hours of Russian language [classes at schools] in Russia's ethnic republics." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [21 July 2017]

Ex-Yukos security chief sentenced to life loses bid for pardon
A specialized commission has dismissed a petition for pardon filed by ex-Yukos security chief Alexey Pichugin sentenced to life in prison, RIA Novosti reported Friday. Pichugin’s lawyer Kseniya Kostromina told RAPSI that she had no official confirmation of the pardon denial. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 July 2017]

Nemtsov’s daughter seeks to overturn sentence in politician murder case
The daughter of prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov murdered in February 2015 filed an appeal seeking to overturn the sentence given to five defendants in the case, her lawyer Olga Mikhailova told RAPSI on Friday. Additionally, Zhanna Nemtsova in her appeal demanded to change murder charges against the defendants to assassination, Mikhailova added. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 July 2017]

Sentencing of alleged masterminds of unlawful referendum set for August 10
The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow will pass a sentence upon four men charged with organizing the activities of an extremist organization on August 10, the court’s representative Svetlana Maximova told RAPSI on Friday. Earlier, a prosecutor asked the court to sentence RBC journalist Alexander Sokolov, activists Kirill Barabash and Valery Parfyonov to 4 years in prison each, and publicist Yury Mukhin to 4.5 years behind bars. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 July 2017]

Body of Kovrov resident found dead in Dagestan not given out to relatives
Family members of Sharip Zaipullaev, a resident of the Vladimir Region, who was kidnapped and then found dead in a blown-up car, were invited to re-take DNA sample tests. The body has not yet been given out for burial, the man's relatives reported. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 7, Sharip Zaipullaev, a 37-year-old resident of the city of Kovrov, came to Dagestan to visit his relatives and disappeared. His relatives reported they learned from eyewitnesses that the man was taken away by men in masks, who drove cars without state registration numbers. On July 10, Sharip Zaipullaev was found dead: his remains were found in a blown-up car in Dagestan. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [20 July 2017]

Investigative Committee finds two persons from the list of Chechen gays of "Novaya Gazeta"
Investigators have questioned two Chechen residents, who, according to the "Novaya Gazeta", were persecuted as members of the LGBT community; both deny that they are gays, said Tatiana Moskalkova, Russian Ombudsperson. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in April, the "Novaya Gazeta" published an article about mass detentions in Chechnya of men suspected of being sexually unconventional. On May 30, Tatiana Moskalkova reported that she had sent a request to Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), in connection with information about persecution of LGBTs in Chechnya. According to Ms Moskalkova, she received the answer from the ICRF of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), which says that investigators had managed to find and question two persons from the two lists of the "Novaya Gazeta", containing 24 and 27 persons. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [20 July 2017]

Dmitry Medvedev orders to pay 309.6 million roubles to victims of Beslan terror act
Dmitry Medvedev, the chair of the Russian government, has signed a resolution to allocate money to North Ossetia for completion of the housing arrangement for the victims of the Beslan terror act. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 24, Vyacheslav Bitarov, the leader of North Ossetia, promised to provide apartments to 193 people who suffered as a result of the Beslan terror act and who were recognized as eligible for housing provision. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [20 July 2017]

US journalist shares his impressions from meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov
US journalist David Scott, an author of a release of the "Real Sports" show on the HBO TV Channel, dedicated to the development of martial arts in Chechnya, described his meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov in June 2017. According to David Scott, he decided to look at Ramzan Kadyrov after the resonance associated with child fights in Grozny. [...]
Source: aucasian Knot [20 July 2017]

Commission finds no violations committed by Judge Khakhaleva at wedding party
The Commission of the Council of Judges for the Krasnodar Territory, engaged in the audit provoked by reports on expenses for a wedding party for a daughter of Judge Elena Khakhaleva, has got "almost all" documents from the organizers of the holiday. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the Council of Judges for the Krasnodar Territory began to verify reports on expenses for a wedding party for a daughter of Elena Khakhaleva, Judge of the Krasnodar Regional Court. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [20 July 2017]

20 July 2017

posted 20 Jul 2017, 08:33 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Jul 2017, 10:27 ]

Another Russian Activist Jailed Over March 26 Anticorruption Rally
A court in Moscow has sentenced a man who took part in an antigovernment protest on March 26 to 2 1/2 years in a so-called colony settlement. The Tver district court on July 20 found Stanislav Zimovets guilty of causing bodily harm to a law-enforcement officer and sentenced him the same day. The March 26 rally, one of the largest protests in Russia in years, was not sanctioned by authorities. Zimovets, who initially confessed to throwing a brick at a police officer, later pleaded not guilty, saying he was not aiming at the police officer, but threw the brick in an open space in order to warn police and stop law-enforcement forces from violently dispersing the protesters. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [20 July 2017]

Russian Opposition Journalist Latynina’s Home Attacked With Pungent Gas
The family home of prominent opposition journalist Yulia Latynina was attacked by unidentified men on Tuesday night, Latynina has said. In a column published by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper on Thursday, Latynina said attackers had released a smelly gas into her home through a window. Latynina said the attack sent two messages: “We know where your parents live,” and “You, Yulia Latynina, are a skunk.” Eight people, including four elderly people and two children, suffered as a result, she told the Ekho Moskvy radio station. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [20 July 2017]

Crimean Tatar jailed for Facebook reposts critical of Russian occupation of Crimea
A court in Russian-occupied Crimea has sentenced Emil Minasov to one year and three months’ imprisonment for supposed ‘incitement to enmity’ on Facebook. This appears to be how the FSB – and judge Anna Klimova – chose to view posts or reposts critical of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Disturbingly little is known about this prosecution and the sentence which was in fact passed on July 7. It was only reported, according to a Kremlin-loyal website, by the FSB on July 18, with this possibly to avoid any possibility of an appeal. Minasov does not appear to have been in detention, but also did not appeal against the sentence which has therefore now entered into force. It is unclear whether he had a lawyer. The FSB claim that Minasov on several occasions from March to October 2016 posted “material of an extremist nature”. The FSB accused him over six ‘episodes’, though only four are mentioned on the court website. [...] 

Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [20 July 2017]

Russia's Federal Tax Service demands $50 million from Browder
The Federal Tax Service has filed a lawsuit seeking to collect 3 billion rubles ($50 million) from Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder and his partner Ivan Cherkasov as part of a tax evasion case, lawyer Alexander Antipov told RAPSI on Thursday. Damage allegedly caused by Browder and Cherkasov was estimated by the Interior Ministry’s experts, the attorney said. [...]

Court Orders Russia To Pay Dutch 6.25 Million Dollars In Damages Over Greenpeace Ship
Russia must pay 5.4 million euros ($6.25 million) in damages to the Netherlands for the 2013 seizure of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship during an oil drilling protest, an international arbitration panel ruled on July 18. Russian Federal Security Service agents captured the Arctic Sunrise in international waters in September 2013 after a protest against an oil platform. Those on board were detained in Russian prisons for months and released in November 2013. The five-member arbitration panel, based in Vienna, ruled in 2015 that Russia was liable under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and has now announced the amount representing damages to the ship, as well as the wrongful arrest and suffering of 30 people aboard. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [20 July 2017]

Russian FM says Hague-based PCA had no jurisdiction in Arctic Sunrise case
Russia has taken no part in the litigation relating to the seizure of Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise in 2013 initiated by the Netherlands in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague due to the fact that PCA lacked jurisdiction in the case, Artem Kozhin, deputy official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told journalists on Thursday. Russia has always upheld the position that PCA had no jurisdiction in the case, according to the comments Kozhin made on the Court’s final award issued on Tuesday. [...]
Source: RAPSI [20 July 2017]

Russian oldest human rights activist asks Putin to pardon ex-senator sentenced to life
Human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva, 90, has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon former senator Igor Izmestyev sentenced to life in prison, the Kremlin's website announced on Thursday. Putin promised Alexeyeva to think over her request, the statement reads. Izmestyev, former senator of Bashkortostan, was arrested in January 2007. [...] In December 2010, the Moscow City Court sentenced Izmestyev to life in prison for organizing terrorist attacks and murders. [...]
Source: RAPSI [20 July 2017]

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19 July 2017

posted 19 Jul 2017, 12:20 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Jul 2017, 12:48 ]

State Duma Toughens Punishment For 'Carousel' Voting
Russia's lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a bill that toughens punishment for "carousel" voting, when voters cast ballots repeatedly at different polling stations. The bill approved on July 19 in its final, third reading, must now be approved by the parliament's upper chamber, the Federation Council, and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. According to the bill, illegally issuing and obtaining a ballot will be punished by up to five years in jail. Fines for election officials who allow "carousel" voting will be increased from 200,000 rubles ($3,400) to as much as 500,000 rubles ($8,400). [...]
Source: RFE/RL [19 July 2017]

State Duma Passes Law to Strip Terrorists of Russian Citizenship
The State Duma has unanimously approved legislation allowing naturalized foreigners convicted of terrorism-related charges to be stripped of their citizenship, the TASS state-funded news agency reports. The amendments to Russia’s citizenship law were passed after its third reading on Wednesday, the website said. The proposal was introduced following a deadly terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg metro, in which 14 people were killed in April. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [19 July 2017]

Opposition’s Roizman Drops out of Governor’s Race, Calls for Election Boycott
Opposition politician and Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman has dropped out of the Sverdlovsk region’s gubernatorial race, after failing to gather enough support from local deputies. Immediately after announcing the decision, Roizman expressed his grievances with the electoral system on Twitter and called for a boycott of the election slated for Sept. 10. "These are not elections,” he wrote. “This is the deception of voters and role-playing games. I think honest people should not take part in this. These elections need to be boycotted.” [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [19 July 2017]

Disabled convict Mamayev released from jail
Moscow’s Timiryazevsky District Court ruled on Wednesday that Anton Mamayev, a disabled and wheelchair-bound man who had been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for armed robbery, should be released from jail. Mamayev's detention was changed to travel restrictions. On Monday, the court received medical examination results of Mamayev submitted by the Federal Penitentiary Service. According to the medical report, he is suffering from an illness included in the list of diseases that prevent serving of punishment. [...]
Source: RAPSI [19 July 2017]

Kadyrov accuses human defenders of inflating rumours about gays in Chechnya
In his interview to a US TV Channel, Ramzan Kadyrov has claimed that the information about the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya is being disseminated by human rights organizations which are counting on making money on that. The full interview with the leader of Chechnya was shown by the HBO TV Channel on Tuesday, July 18. In his interview, the leader of Chechnya accused of corruption the human rights activists engaged in dissemination of the information about the persecution of gay men in the republic. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [19 July 2017]

Don’t Tolerate the Intolerable from Chechnya’s Strongman Kadyrov
Kadyrov was making vile threats long before his HBO interview. It’s time for international action
In his recent interview with the U.S. cable network HBO, Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov dismissed the anti-gay-purge allegations as nonsense, denied the very existence of gay people in this southern Russian region with a population of over one million, and candidly promised to “put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.”  His brazen comments may have shocked international audiences, but the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists on July 17 that “nothing out of the ordinary has been said.” [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [19 July 2017]

Witness: Russia’s New Normal
An Increase in Prosecutions for Social Media Posts is Silencing Russia’s Citizens
Russia has introduced significant restrictions to online speech and invasive surveillance of online activity and prosecutes critics under the guise of fighting extremism.
When Ekaterina Vologzheninova posted a satirical cartoon criticizing Russia’s involvement in Ukraine on her social media page, she had no idea what was coming next or that she would end up with a criminal record. After all, she only had four followers. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [18 July 2017]

Russia: Assault on Freedom of Expression
Repressive Laws and Policies Restrict Online Speech, Stifle Critical Voices
Russia has introduced significant restrictions to online speech and invasive surveillance of online activity and prosecutes critics under the guise of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 83-page report, “Online and On All Fronts: Russia’s Assault on Freedom of Expression,” documents Russian authorities’ stepped-up measures aimed at bringing the internet under greater state control. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [18 July 2017]

ECtHR accepts Varvara Karaulova's complaint for consideration
The complaint filed by Varvara Karaulova and communicated by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) states numerous violations committed during the preliminary investigation and claims an unreasonably cruel verdict. This was reported by an advocate of Varvara Karaulova. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [18 July 2017]

18 July 2017

posted 18 Jul 2017, 10:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Jul 2017, 10:55 ]

Russia Jehovah's Witnesses banned after they lose appeal
Russia's Supreme Court has ordered the disbanding of the Jehovah's Witnesses on Russian territory. The ban came into effect after the court rejected an appeal by the religious group against a ruling in April which declared it to be extremist. The justice ministry had argued that the group distributed pamphlets which incited hatred against other groups. The group described the ruling as the end of religious freedom in Russia. [...]
Source: BBC [17 July 2017]

Moscow City Hall Allows Opposition March in Defense of Internet Freedom
Moscow City Hall has authorized an opposition rally in defense of internet freedom to be held later this month. The application for the march “For a free internet,” filed by the liberal opposition’s party People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), had been rejected twice before, with City Hall citing road works at the protest site. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 July 2017]

Russia Ordered to Pay $6 Mln for Seizing Greenpeace’s 'Arctic Sunrise'
Russia has been ordered to pay 5.4 million euros ($6.25 million) in damages to the Netherlands for seizing the “Arctic Sunrise” Greenpeace ship and detaining its crew in 2013.  
The Permanent Court of Arbitration said in an online statement on Tuesday that Russia had violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by boarding the ship without consent and detaining crew members. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 July 2017]

Navalny, Co-Defendants Ordered To Pay $35,500 To Kirovles
A Moscow court has ordered Russian opposition political activist and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny and two co-defendants in a high-profile embezzlement case to pay 2.1 million rubles (about $35,500) in damages to a lumber company. In February, a court in the Russian city of Kirov found Navalny and co-defendant Pyotr Ofitserov guilty of embezzlement from the Kirovles lumber company after a retrial. Navalny on February 8 received a 5-year suspended sentence, and Ofitserov received a 4-year suspended sentence. Additionally, they were fined 500,000 rubles ($8,500) each. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 July 2017]

Trial Of Crimean Journalist Semena Resumes In Simferopol
Russian-appointed judges at a court in Ukraine's occupied Crimea region have conducted a new hearing in the trial of Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor who is fighting what he says is a politically motivated separatism charge. Witnesses and experts called by the defense testified at the trial on July 18. The judge agreed to include the UN General Assembly's December 2016 resolution on human rights in Crimea -- which was seized by Russia in 2014 -- in the case documents. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 July 2017]

ECtHR communicates two protest-related cases to Russian government
The European Court of Human Rights has communicated two cases being joinders of complaints submitted by Russian nationals, who at various times and in various locations of the Russian Federation took part in protest actions, as materials in the Court’s database read. [...]
Source: RAPSI [18 July 2017]

HRC "Memorial": head of municipal enterprise reports being tortured in Grozny
Lom-Ali Elbiev, a former director of the Grozny Municipal Unitary Enterprise (MUE) "Teplosnabzhenie" (Heat Supply), told rights defenders that he was tortured after being accused of embezzling budget funds, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" has stated. Rights defenders have asked the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to check the man's statement; however, so far, law enforcement bodies have not responded to the appeal. The 57-year-old Lom-Ali Elbiev, who turned to the HRC "Memorial" on June 5, said that he was forced to flee to Europe after being tortured and persecuted in Chechnya. The man asked for help in bringing to justice those responsible for violating his rights. According to the "Memorial", on February 24, 2017, Lom-Ali Elbiev was summoned to a sitting, where he was accused of embezzling large amounts of money; and in that evening he found himself in a cellar in handcuffs. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [18 July 2017]

Russian activist jailed for comparing Putin with Hitler (Both invaded Ukraine)
Anti-corruption activist Viktoria Lobova was jailed for three days in Vladimir on July 14 for reposting a picture where Russian President Vladimir Putin is in a Nazi uniform, and is likened to Adolf Hitler. The reasons are provided. "Both began with the Olympics”, "They both invaded Ukraine” and “They both shamed their countries before the entire world”. This is the latest of several examples where legislation prohibiting the public demonstration of Nazi symbols has been used as a repressive measure against critics of the current Russian regime. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [18 July 2017]

Online and On All Fronts
Russia’s Assault on Freedom of Expression
Since 2012, the Russian authorities have intensified a crackdown on freedom of expression, selectively casting certain kinds of criticism of the government as threats to state security and public stability and introducing significant restrictions to online expression and invasive surveillance of online activity. While new restrictions on freedom of expression appear to target political opposition or civic groups, they affect all Russians. Curbing free speech denies a voice to anyone dissatisfied with the ongoing economic crisis or even mildly critical of Russia’s foreign policy. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [18 July 2018]

17 July 2017

posted 17 Jul 2017, 09:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Jul 2017, 10:13 ]

Colleagues Defend Russia's 'Pokemon Go' Blogger Listed Alongside 'Terrorists And Extremists'
Russian Internet personalities have rallied to the defense of a blogger, who was convicted of hate speech for a video in which he played Pokemon Go in a church, shortly after he was placed on an official government list of designated terrorists and extremists. The video, published July 16 on the popular YouTube channel of St. Petersburg-based blogger Danila Poperechny, came days after it emerged that Ruslan Sokolovsky had been added to an official list of "terrorists and extremists"maintained by Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [author: Carl Schreck; 17 July 2017]

Three Years On, Families of MH17 Victims Still Seeking Justice
Evert van Zijtveld doesn't want to talk about the 2014 plane crash in eastern Ukraine that took the lives of his two teenage children. He wants justice. But three years after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the bereaved Dutch father -- who also lost his in-laws in the crash -- is still waiting. As are the loved ones of all 298 passengers and crew killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down during what should have been a routine trip from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. "Whoever did it should be brought to justice. That's the only story I can share with anyone," van Zijtveld told RFE/RL by telephone on July 13, four days before the third anniversary of the disaster. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 July 2017]

Kremlin Sees 'Nothing Unusual' In Kadyrov's Call for Gay Purge
The Kremlin came to the defense of Chechnya's leader on Monday, saying controversial comments the republic's leader recently made about gay men had been “taken out of context,” the TASS news agency reported. In excerpts of an interview with U.S. television network HBO, Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, called for the removal of gay people "to purify the [nation’s] blood." Kadyrov was responding to reports that security forces in the restive republic had detained, tortured, and even killed gay men. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [17 July 2017]

Judge Under Fire for Extravagant $2M Wedding Party
A judge in southern Russia who allegedly splurged $2 million on her daughter’s wedding party has come under fire for extravagant spending. Yelena Khakhaleva, a deputy chairperson in the Krasnodar regional court, hosted the party, which was attended by several Russian celebrities, on June 10 in the city’s most expensive restaurant. Sergei Zhorin, a prominent celebrity lawyer based in Moscow, blasted the judge’s spending, saying her colleagues earned so little they were forced to eat dust. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [17 July 2017]

Prosecutor demands 4-year jail term for alleged organizer of unlawful referendum
Prosecutor had demanded a 4-year prison term for a RBC journalist Alexander Sokolov, charged with masterminding the activities of an extremist organization, RAPSI reported from the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow on Monday. The prosecutor also asked the court to give other defendants in the case, Kirill Barabash, Valery Parfyonov, and publicist Yury Mukhin, sentences ranging from 4 to 4.5 years behind bars. According to Mukhin, he and other people charged in the case, are indeed members of the Initiative Group to Campaign for a Referendum for Responsible Government, which, the authorities believe, is the successor of earlier banned People’s Will Army (PWA). However, as Mukhin has told RAPSI, the action group aiming to organize the referendum was established yet in 2010. [...]
Source: RAPSI [17 July 2017]

Jehovah's Witnesses claim sharply increased pressure on their members in Southern Russia
After the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to eliminate 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist, believers from the regions of Southern Russia, questioned by the "Caucasian Knot", complained about the sharp increase in pressure on members of their communities. On April 20 the SC of Russia satisfied the demand of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to liquidate all the 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist. The believers have treated the verdict as biased and promised to appeal against it. The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Yaroslav Sivoulsky, a spokesperson for the Management Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, that the decision of the Supreme Court affected 175,000 followers of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, since with the stroke of a pen, the SC liquidated all 396 Jehovah's Witnesses organizations registered in Russia and banned their activities. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [17 July 2017]

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14 July 2017

posted 14 Jul 2017, 08:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Jul 2017, 09:31 ]

Report: Russian Police Compel Young Demonstrators To Complete Questionnaire
Russian police have created a special questionnaire for youths who participated in anticorruption rallies organized by opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in March, according to a report by the RBK information agency. The agency interviewed several Moscow teenagers who said they and their parents were ordered to fill out a questionnaire consisting of 60 questions regarding the children's upbringing, members of their families, their political views, their background, the families' financial situation, how they learned about the Navalny's rallies, and other personal questions. The RBK posted images of the list of questions on its website. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [14 July 2017]

In Disturbing Video, Men Beaten, Forced To Apologize To Daghestani Leader
Two men in Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan have been beaten and forced to offer apologies after they publicly insulted the region's leader, Ramazan Abdulatipov. On July 13, the two young men appeared in a video with badly beaten faces and two men standing by them. They are compelled to apologize to Abdulatipov and ask for forgiveness. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [14 July 2017]

Russian Court Rules Tatar Activist To Remain Under Police Control After Prison Release
A leading Tatar activist will remain under police supervision for eight years after his expected release from prison later this year. In what lawyers are describing as an unprecedented decision, a court in Russia's Komi region ruled on July 11 that Rafis Kashapov, chairman of the Tatar Public Center, be barred from political and public activities for eight years under parole-like supervision. Kashapov's lawyer, Ruslan Garifullin, told RFE/RL on July 13 that Russian law allows postsentence restrictions placed on those who "systematically violate penitentiary regulations," but being placed under police supervision for eight years is unprecedented in Russia. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [14 July 2017]

Convicted Pokemon Go player added to terror blacklist
Videoblogger Ruslan Sokolovsky sentenced for playing Pokemon Go in a church was added to the list of active terrorists and extremists, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service announced on its website on Friday. All bank accounts of Sokolovsky have been blocked, his attorney Alexey Bushmakov wrote on his Facebook page. On May 22, Sokolovsky was found guilty of inciting hatred, violation of religious rights and illegal possession of special technical means intended for obtaining secret information. On July 7, a court in Yekaterinburg on Friday reduced the young man’s suspended sentence from 3.5 to 2 years and 3 months. [...]

Source: RAPSI [14 July 2017]

Chechnya's Kadyrov Criticizes Convictions Of Nemtsov Killers
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-installed head of the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, has criticized the recent conviction and sentencing of five Chechens for the 2015 murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. According to a statement posted on the Chechen government's website, Kadyrov told a government meeting on July 13 that the five men were convicted on "doubtful evidence." Kadryov reportedly said he was surprised that prosecutors sought a life sentence for the convicted triggerman, Zaur Dadayev, as he could not recall a similar punishment being handed down in comparable criminal cases. In a video recorded after the meeting, Kadyrov described the men as "completely innocent." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [14 July 2017]

Moscow Police Closes Investigation Into Green Paint Attack on Navalny
The Moscow prosecutor's office has ended an investigation into an attack on opposition politician and presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny, citing their inability to find the perpetrators, Navalny wrote on his blog on Thursday. An attacker threw a green antiseptic, known as zelyonka, at Navalny’s face on April 27 as he was leaving the office of his Anti-Corruption Foundation. The politician partially lost his sight, had to be hospitalized, and later underwent eye surgery in Spain. The decision to end the criminal case was made on June 13, a day after the Navalny-led opposition held unauthorized anti-corruption protests across the country. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [14 July 2017]

State Duma ratifies Convention on confiscation of proceeds from crime
The State Duma has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism, the website of the lower house of parliament reads on Friday. The State Duma Committee recommended to ratify the Convention on July 10. On June 26, President Vladimir Putin submitted the Convention to the lower house of Russian parliament for ratification. [...]

Source: RAPSI [14 July 2017]

Russian Police Vows to Prevent World Cup Fans Going Semi-Nude
Russian police will adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards “half-naked” crowds in the cities hosting FIFA 2018 World Cup matches next summer, a high-ranking Interior Ministry official told the State Duma on Thursday. “There will be no half-naked people roaming the streets and squares of our Russian cities,” Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Gorovoi was cited as saying by the news agency Interfax. “These cases will be rigidly suppressed.” Improperly dressed and drunk people will be removed from public spaces, he added, while complaining of low resources. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [14 July 2017]

Guards at Volgograd War Memorial Complain Of Hazing and Abuse
Soldiers in an elite military unit in Volgograd guarding а World War II memorial have complained of beatings, extortion and other forms of hazing. After reports about the abuses came to the attention of Mother’s Right Foundation, a human rights organization, officers confiscated soldiers’ cell phones to prevent further leaks, the local news outlet reported on Thursday. “Soldiers serving in unit 22220 and their parents complained that commanders extort money from subordinates and torment those who refuse to obey,” head of the human rights group, Nina Ponomaryova, told [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [14 July 2017]

Advocates in Boris Nemtsov's murder case to challenge the verdict
Advocates intend to appeal against the decision of the court, which sentenced defendants in the case on the Boris Nemtsov's murder to long terms of imprisonment. Till present, representatives of the victim party and public prosecutors have not yet decided on the plans concerning the verdict. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today, in the case on the Boris Nemtsov's murder, the court sentenced five defendants to 11-20 years of imprisonment. Zaur Dadaev, whom investigators treat as a killer of Boris Nemtsov, was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in a penal colony. Public prosecutor requested to sentence Zaur Dadaev to life imprisonment. Anna Byuarchieva, a defender of Tamerlan Eskerkhanov, treats the verdict as unfair "especially in relation to Eskerkhanov and Bakhaev, the evidence of whose innocence was presented." [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [13 July 2017]

Eyewitnesses report detentions of Makhachkala mosque-goers
In Makhachkala, about 15 Muslims were detained after a night prayer at "Tangyim" mosque. This was reported by Imam Nigmatulla Radjabov. According to one of the believers, some detainees were released after questioning. The detentions took place immediately after the prayer, and law enforcers were waiting for the believers coming out of the mosque, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Nigmatulla Radjabov, Imam of the mosque. According to him, the believers were detained on the pretext of checking their IDs, and when some of them produced their IDs, the law enforcers refused to check them at the place and referred to the need to check the IDs only at a police station. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [13 July 2017]

Balagov announces screening of "Tesnota" in Nalchik
The film "Tesnota" (Tightness) was purchased for screening in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, despite the prohibition imposed by the director Kantemir Balagov. The screening will start on August 3. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Balagov had forbidden the screening of his film in Nalchik, motivating it with the reaction of city authorities. The townspeople had treated his decision as strange. "Absolutely unexpected news for me: the movie theatre 'Deya' has bought the film 'Tesnota' for screening, which means that since August 3 it can be watched in Nalchik," Mr Balagov wrote in his Facebook. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [12 July 2017]

13 July 2017

posted 13 Jul 2017, 08:49 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Jul 2017, 11:17 ]

Boris Nemtsov murder: Five Chechens jailed for attack
A Chechen gunman and four accomplices have been given long jail sentences for the killing of leading Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov near the Kremlin. Zaur Dadayev was jailed for 20 years by a Moscow military court while the others were given 11 to 19 years. A vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov, 55, was shot dead in February 2015. His family fear the person who ordered the murder may never be caught. [...]
Source: BBC [13 July 2017]

Putin Critic Navalny Says Security Service Tracking His Children
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny complains his wife and two children are being tracked by the security services, but says he's not afraid to challenge Vladimir Putin for the presidency whatever the risks. Navalny, a 41-year-old lawyer who has organized the biggest anti-Kremlin protests in years, hopes to run against Putin in a presidential election in March and told Reuters he planned to call for more big anti-government demonstrations. "My mood is generally really positive," said Navalny. "I have 125,000 volunteers, people turn out to demonstrate, they are detained, campaign literature is confiscated. (But) I see that people support us." [...]
Source: New York Times [via Reuters; 13 July 2017]

The Russian Federation’s Law on Foreign Agents contravenes human rights
“The Russian Federation’s legislative framework on non-commercial organisations is incompatible with international and European human rights standards”, writes the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, in his observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights and published today on a group of cases which challenge the so-called “Law on Foreign Agents”. [...]
Source: Council of Europe [13 July 2017]

European Commissioner believes Russian “foreign agents” law impedes human rights
The Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, has criticized Russian “foreign agents” law noting that it hindered human rights in the country and had a profoundly negative impact on related organizations, according to the CoE document published on Thursday. The law adopted in Russia in November 2012 requires that all NGOs engaged in political activity and receiving foreign funding register as “foreign agents”. [...]

Source: RAPSI [13 July 2017]

Russia seeks ECHR ruling in Beslan terror attack case to be overturned
Russia’s Justice Ministry has filed a request to refer a case of victims of terror attack on a school in the Russian town of Beslan to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for review, the Ministry’s press-release reads on Thursday. On April 13, ECHR obliged Russian authorities to pay the terror attack victims about €3 million in compensation and €88,792 of costs and expenses. [...]
Source: RAPSI [13 July 2017]

Russian human rights ombudsman seeks release of disabled convict
Russia's High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova has filed a petition with the Moscow City Court seeking release of Anton Mamayev, a wheelchair person sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for armed robbery, the ombudsman’s website announced on Thursday. Moreover, Moskalkova has lodged a request with the Federal Penitentiary Service to speed up medical examination of the convict. [...] 

Source: RAPSI [13 July 2017]

Outrage after disabled Russian man jailed for assault
The imprisonment of a severely disabled man for violent assault in Moscow has outraged many social media users in Russia. Anton Mamaev, 28, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a rare condition which requires him to use a wheelchair, without which he is almost completely immobile. Despite this fact, Mamaev was found guilty of assaulting a former special forces officer and stealing his motorised scooter. [...]

Source: BBC [12 July 2017]

Russia weaponizes citizenship against Oleg Sentsov & other Crimean political prisoners
Oleg Sentsov turns 41 on July 13. It will be his third birthday in Russian captivity. Please write to him! (details on how at the bottom) 
After invading Crimea and faking a ‘referendum’ on ‘joining’ Russia, Moscow is applying strictly selective Russification in its persecution of Ukrainians. While it has banned or even deported some Crimean Tatars from their homeland as Ukrainian citizens, it is falsely claiming that Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko automatically’ become Russian citizens. That, at least, is the current story which, like all of Moscow’s claims regarding Ukraine is varied as required. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [13 July 2017]

Founder of NGO-TV leaves Russia for the present after arrest of channel presenter
Human rights defender and founder of NGO-TV Temur Kobaliya has left Russia for a time after the arrest of Aleksandr Batmanov, a staff member at the channel. Speaking to Radio Svoboda, Kobaliya said that he had gone to Georgia since he fears possible provocations. "To reduce the risks, I decided to leave in any case. If the police had wanted to talk with me, they would have summoned me in the usual way, they could have called me on the phone. I never hide," Kobaliya said. He pointed out that on 18 July the Georgia-Russia forum, which he heads, will take place in Tblisi. [...]

Source: Radio Svoboda [translated from Russian; 13 July 2017]

Court makes Boris Stomakhin's detention regime more severe
The court has made the detention regime more severe for Boris Stomakhin, sentenced for a material about the terror acts in Volgograd. His serving of a sentence at a high-security penal colony was replaced with detention in prison. His advocate has announced the intention to appeal against the court's decision. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 20, 2015, Boris Stomakhin was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for publication of a material about the terror acts committed in Volgograd on December 29-30, 2014. According to investigators, Boris Stomakhin publicly acquitted terrorism. At the time of the trial, Boris Stomakhin was serving his sentence under a similar charge, pronounced on April 22, 2014. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [12 July 2017]

Independent psychologists not allowed visiting Boris Stomakhin, his defence reports
The administration of the penal colony, where Boris Stomakhin, sentenced for public justification of terrorism, is serving his sentence, does not allow independent psychologists visiting him. This was reported by advocate Roman Kachanov. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 20, 2015, Boris Stomakhin was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for publication about the terror acts committed in Volgograd on December 29-30, 2014. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [12 July 2017]

Rape victim's mother gives interview to "Caucasian Knot" blogger, ICRF starts criminal proceedings
In a video interview to a blogger of the "Caucasian Knot", Zalina Dudueva, a resident of Vladikavkaz, has reported a story of her daughter, who suffers from a disease of autistic spectrum. According to the woman, her daughter was repeatedly subjected to sexual violence, but her complaints to the law enforcement agencies produced no result. On the other day after the publication of the interview, the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) instituted a criminal case under Article "Violent acts of sexual nature". According to the woman, her daughter was repeatedly subjected to violent acts of sexual nature, while she with other children received medical treatment in Moscow. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [12 July 2017]

Witness: Beaten by Police in Moscow
Protester Yulia Galyamina was hospitalized after a severe blow to the head
Yulia Galyamina and Nikolai Tuzhilin on the ground with riot police officials next to them. Moscow, July 2017 © 2017 Maxim Shemetov/ReutersWhen I spoke to Yulia Galyamina, she was in the hospital with a concussion and other injuries received after a riot police officer hit her in the face with a powerful blow. She still felt dizzy and achy, and several of her teeth were wobbly. As she recalled the events of that afternoon, Yulia, who is in her mid-40s, was often close to crying. It happened on June 12th, Russia Day, a public holiday. The municipality organized entertainment in central Moscow, including on Tverskaya Street, the main thoroughfare. Then, a leading opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, called his supporters to gather there for an anti-corruption protest. The authorities refused to approve the rally and warned that its participants would be detained. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [7 July 2017]

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