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27 March 2017

posted by Rights in Russia   [ updated ]

Russia jails protests leader Alexei Navalny for 15 days
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 15 days for resisting police orders during mass protests on Sunday. Mr Navalny was among several hundred people who were detained in connection with the rallies across the country. The court in Moscow earlier fined him the minimum 20,000 roubles ($350) for organising the banned protests. [...]
Source: BBC [27 March 2017]

Police Disperse Anticorruption Rally In Moscow
Russian police dispersed demonstrators in downtown Moscow and arrested the anticorruption rally organizer, opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, on March 26. Navalny called for protests in cities across Russia to condemn corruption after his anticorruption foundation published an investigation into property owned by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Russia and abroad. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [27 March 2017]

Russian Truckers Resume Protest As Road-Tax Rate Set To Rise
Russian truck drivers have begun a new series of protests against a state road tax that they say is onerous and ineffective. Andrei Bazhutin, head of the United Truckers of Russia trade body and an organizer of the national protest, was detained in St. Petersburg on March 27. He was accused of driving without a license and could face 15 days of administrative detention. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [27 March 2017]

Relatives report disappearance of Apti Kharaev, resident of Chechnya
Apti Kharaev, a resident of the Urus-Martan District of Chechnya, went missing on March 14; since then, his whereabouts is unknown, said his relatives, who turned to the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". Earlier, Kharaev had been convicted for taking part in an illegal armed formation (IAF), and was accused of killing power agents, law enforcement sources have reported. The disappearance of Apti Kharaev, 36, a resident of the village of Goity, was reported by his mother Marem; according to her story, on March 14, he left his father's house aiming to make his permanent registration with the at the District Division of the Federal Migration Service (FMS). [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [25 March 2017]

Relatives of resident of Grozny state his kidnapping by power agents
Last night, Rizvan Minazov, 28, was taken away from his home in Grozny by unidentified armed men, his relatives reported. Minazov was detained on suspicion of involvement in an attack in the Naur District, said a source from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Chechnya. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported about mass detentions of young men with beards in the Naur district of Chechnya and in Grozny after the militants’ attack on the checkpoint of the military camp of the “Natsgvardia” (National Guard of Russia). Relatives believe that Minazov was kidnapped by power agents in connection with the events in the Naur District. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [25 March 2017]

Relatives of militants killed in Naurskaya detained in Chechnya
On March 24, the father of Muridov brothers, killed by law enforcers during the attack on the checkpoint of the “Rosgvardia” (National Guard of Russia), was detained, along with other relatives of the militants, said a resident of the village of Naurskaya. Mass detentions of young people with beards were also held in Grozny, local residents have reported. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [25 March 2017]

24 March 2017

posted 24 Mar 2017, 12:42 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Mar 2017, 13:17 ]

Chechnya: Russian soldiers killed in clash with insurgents
Six Russian soldiers have been killed and several wounded in a clash with armed militants in Russia's region of Chechnya, security forces say. The Russian National Guard says militants took advantage of heavy fog to try to storm one of its bases overnight on Thursday. Six attackers are also said to have been killed in the gun battle. [...]
Source: BBC [24 March 2017]

Militants killed in January in Chechnya buried in nameless graves
The bodies of the militants, killed on January 11 in the Kurchaloi District of Chechnya and on January 30 in the city of Shali, have been buried into unmarked graves in the cemetery near Grozny, local residents report. Power agents followed the law on burial of terrorists. The burial of several militants killed during two special operations in January, was held on March 16 in one of the cemeteries of the Grozny District of Chechnya. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [23 March 2017]

Russia May Shrink Its 'Foreign Agents' Registry by Half
Russia may drastically shrink its registry of “foreign agents” — non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive foreign funding and political activities, Russia's Kommersant newspaper reports. The government will likely remove half of the organizations from the registry following an analysis of the law's application by a presidential administration working group. More than 50 NGOs have already been removed from the registry and 33 more “have grounds to request the Justice Ministry remove them,” Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Presidential Human Rights Council, told the Kommersant daily. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [24 March 2017]

Four defendants in Nemtsov murder case file appeals with ECtHR
Appeals filed by four defendants in the case on killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, over alleged tortures and unreasonable stay in detention were transferred to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), lawyer Rosa Magomedova said on Friday at a press-conference in Rosbalt news agency. Magomedova represents interests of Zaur Dadayev and Tamerlan Eskerkhanov in the ECHR. According to the lawyer, her clients as well as other defendants in the case, Anzor and Shadid Gubashevs filed the appeals. Dadayev is appealing against alleged torture, while in case of Eskerkhanov there is still an option to continue judicial proceedings in Russia. Other appeals are related to detention conditions and detention itself. [..]
Source: RAPSI [24 March 2017]

23 March 2017

posted 23 Mar 2017, 10:43 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Mar 2017, 10:44 ]

Activist Rusova complains about provocation during her picket
The activist Sofia Rusova has left the police station in Moscow, where she was delivered after the picket. According to her story, she wrote an application about the damage to her personal property during the picket. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today Sofia Rusova, a board member of the “EcoWatch”, was detained after picketing against the construction of ski resorts in the territory of the Caucasian Reserve. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [21 March 2017]

Sofia Rusova, member of “EcoWatch”, detained in Moscow

Sofia Rusova, a board member of the "Ecological Watch for Northern Caucasus" (EcoWatch), was detained during her solo picket in Moscow against the construction of ski resorts in the Caucasian Reserve. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that today the activists Sofia Rusova and Atsamaz Khadikov have held solo pickets at the building hosting the Eighth International Environmental Forum, in protest against the activities of the “Electrozink” Factory and the construction of a resort in the territory of the Caucasian Reserve. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [21 March 2017]

Militants killed in January in Chechnya buried in nameless graves
The bodies of the militants, killed on January 11 in the Kurchaloi District of Chechnya and on January 30 in the city of Shali, have been buried into unmarked graves in the cemetery near Grozny, local residents report. Power agents followed the law on burial of terrorists. The burial of several militants killed during two special operations in January, was held on March 16 in one of the cemeteries of the Grozny District of Chechnya. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [21 March 2017]

22 March 2017

posted 22 Mar 2017, 13:53 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Mar 2017, 13:54 ]

Crimean Tatar Leader Likely To Face Trial Soon On Separatism Charge
A Crimean Tatar leader who has criticized Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula appears likely to face trial soon on what he says are spurious charges of separatism. Ilmi Umerov, deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatars' self-governing body, the Mejlis, said he and his lawyer were informed on March 21 that the case against him had been sent to a court in Russia-controlled Crimea. He also said he has received the final written charges, a step that is often followed within days or weeks by a trial. [...] 
Source: RFE/RL [22 March 2017]

Magnitsky Lawyer's Condition Said To Improve After Apartment-House Plunge
A lawyer representing the family of the deceased Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky remained hospitalized on March 22 after falling several stories from his apartment building, though Magnitsky's former employer said his condition had improved. Lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov on March 21 suffered serious injuries after plunging at least four stories from his apartment building outside Moscow as he reportedly attempted to bring a hot tub into his home. There was no indication from authorities that foul play was suspected in the incident, which occurred one day before he was due to appear in court in connection with the Magnitsky case. Magnitsky's former employer, U.S.-born British investor Bill Browder, said a day earlier that Gorokhov had been "thrown from the fourth floor of his apartment building." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [22 March 2017]

Top Russian Business Newspaper Appoints New Chief Editor From State Television
The newspaper Vedomosti has a new chief editor: Ilya Bulavinov, who currently heads online broadcasting for the state-run television network Channel One. Bulavinov was nominated by the paper’s owner, Demyan Kudryavtsev (who also owns The Moscow Times), and supported by four members of the board of directors. Ekaterina Derbilova, nominated by Tatiana Lysova, Vedomosti’s current chief editor, lost with three votes. Lysova, who announced last autumn that she would leave Vedomosti, will remain on the newspaper’s board of directors until the end of the year. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [22 March 2017]

Russian University Fires Lecturer Who Screened Film Accusing Prime Minister Medvedev of Corruption
Earlier this month, a lecturer at a university in Krasnoyarsk says he was forced to resign because he showed his students a new film by Alexei Navalny that accuses Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a vast and illicit real estate empire. In an interview on Wednesday with the independent TV network Dozhd, Mikhail Konstantinov explained how he lost his job as a lecturer of philosophy and culture at Siberian Federal University after he screened the documentary on March 14. Konstantinov says the motivation for stepping outside his curriculum to show a political film was the miserable state of his classroom — particularly the windows, which the school boards up and cheaply insulates during the winter. “I started wondering where all the money was going. This is a federal university, after all,” he told Dozhd. “When Navalny’s film came out, I got the idea to show it to my students, because the film shows where all the money is going,” Konstantinov said. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [22 March 2017]

Ukrainian journalists detained in Moscow with student beaten for Ukrainian flag
Two Ukrainian journalists were held in a Moscow police station for around 3 hours on Tuesday evening, together with the Russian postgraduate student beaten by the FSB for waving a Ukrainian flag during state-organized festivities marking the anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Each was questioned separately before finally being released with the police trying to claim that they had been holding an ‘unauthorized meeting’ and chanting slogans. Roman Tsymbalyuk, UNIAN correspondent and 1 + 1 cameraman Nikita Borodin had just taken an interview of Zakhar Sarapulov when the police turned up and took their papers away. Tsymbalyuk reported first that they were awaiting the arrival of the head of the Moscow State University police, then that they were being taken to the police station. They clearly held them there for up to 2 hours before any questioning. The police demanded that they provide ‘explanations’. Tsymbalyuk did so, but refused to give this in writing, citing Article 51 of Russia’s Constitution. He wrote instead that they should follow the UNIAN information agency and watch TV ‘1 + 1”. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [22 March 2017]

Arrest of Browder in absentia upheld by Moscow court
The ruling of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow has come into force. Browder had been charged with several economic crimes, including deliberate bankruptcy and tax evasion, his attorney Alexander Antipov has told RAPSI earlier. The investigation into Browder was completed within the shortest possible time, from February 8 to 17, 2017, the lawyer added. However, neither the defendant nor his legal team were notified about investigation. According to Antipov, this fact exemplifies “secret justice” and violates the law. [...]
Source: RAPSI [22 March 2017]

Criminal case against imam charged with justifying terrorism transferred to court
The criminal case against Moscow imam Makhmud Velitov, who stands charged with justifying terrorism, has been transferred to the Moscow District Military Court, RAPSI learnt on Wednesday from lawyer Dagir Khasavov. Khasavov told RAPSI that he was going to call high-ranking religious figures of Islam as witnesses in this case and to conduct an additional complex psychological-linguistic expertise. He added that none of the books seized from Yardam mosque and the imam’s home contained any sign of extremism. [...]
Source: RAPSI [22 March 2017]

Victims’ defence criticize judgement on Zakaev’s case
The rights of the victims of the terror act in Dubrovka were not observed during the sentencing of Khasan Zakaev, said the advocates, adding that Zakaev would not be able to pay compensation to the victims in the total amount of 37.5 million roubles. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Zakaev was sentenced today by the Moscow District Military Court to 19 years in a high-security colony. The civil claims of the victims of the terror act were satisfied partially: the Court has ruled to collect 37.5 million roubles in favour of the victims from Zakaev. The defence intends to appeal against the verdict, said Suleiman Ibragimov, a Zakaev's advocate. Sergey Panchenko, an advocate for the victims, has treated the awarded compensation as "extremely small," noting that even at road accidents the amounts are higher. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [21 March 2017]

21 March 2017

posted 21 Mar 2017, 12:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Mar 2017, 12:46 ]

Student Says FSB Beat Him For Displaying Ukrainian Flag At Russia Rally
A postgraduate student at Moscow State University (MGU) says he was beaten and interrogated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) after he exposed a makeshift Ukrainian flag on the third anniversary of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The student of MGU's history department, who introduced himself as Farukh, told RFE/RL on March 21 that he was taken to a nearby police station, where he was beaten and questioned for two hours by men who said things suggesting they were FSB officers. [...]
Source: RFE/RL ]21 March 2017]

Suspect In 2002 Moscow Theater Siege Sentenced To 19 Years In Prison
A suspect in the deadly 2002 hostage-taking attack on a Moscow theater has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. The Moscow Regional Military Court pronounced the sentence on March 21 after convicting Khasan Zakayev of assisting Chechen militants in the attack on the Dubrovka theater during a performance of the musical Nord-Ost. Zakayev's arrest was announced in March 2015. He pleaded "partially" guilty, acknowledging that he transported guns to Moscow shortly before the assault but had no idea what they were intended to be used for. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [21 March 2017]

Dubrovka Hostage Survivors to Sue Government Over Fatal Raid
A Moscow military court sentenced Khasan Zakaev to 19 years in prison March 20 for his role in the 2002 Moscow hostage crisis at the Dubrovka musical theater that resulted in the deaths of 130. Family members of the victims and survivors of the hostage crisis blame government officials for poor management of the hostage negotiations and say that government officials who order the assault on the theater be prosecuted. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2011 that Russian authorities did not provide sufficient medical aid to hostages after Russian special forces used an unknown gas as part of the assault. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [21 March 2017]

Crimean journalist accused of contempt of court for demanding open trial
The first hearing into Russia’s trial in occupied Crimea of journalist Mykola Semena ended shortly after beginning on Monday, March 20, with the prosecution calling the defence ‘capricious’ and their demand for open hearings ‘contempt of court’. Since Semena is already being tried under Russian law for exercising a right guaranteed by Russia’s Constitution, the judge did finally refrain from denying him another right enshrined in that same document, and the hearing was adjourned until April 3. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [21 March 2017]

Russian Supreme Court upholds sentence to student approving Charlie Hebdo massacre
The Supreme Court of Russia had upheld the 2-year prison sentence given to Avaid Mosab, a Palestinian student in the Russian town of Belgorod, for publicly approving an act of terror against the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo magazine, the court’s press service told RAPSI on Tuesday. After examining the appeal filed by the student’s defense, the Court refused to mitigate the sentence by the Moscow District Military Court passed in December of 2016. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 March 2017]

Russian Constitutional Court rules police must protect one-person protesters
The Constitutional Court of Russia has ruled that police officers must protect one-person protestors at the sites the protests take place instead of bringing them to the stations, the court’s ruling reads on Tuesday. This ruling was issued by the court after reviewing a part of the federal law “On Police” in relation to an appeal filed by a Belgorod resident Vladimir Sergiyenko. The case was heard behind closed doors. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 March 2017]

ECtHR grants €122,300 to 17 Russian convicts over poor conditions of detention
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has admitted the rights of 17 Russian convicts, who complained of the inadequate conditions of their detention to be violated. The total amount of compensation granted after the ECtHR has examined two joint cases made 122,300 euros. Thus, in the case of Kargashin and others vs Russia the court joined in a single judgment seven complaints and in the case of Mozharov and others there were jointly examined ten applications. [...]
Source: RAPSI [21 March 2017]

20 March 2017

posted 20 Mar 2017, 12:42 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Mar 2017, 12:42 ]

Russia opens investigation into murder of space agency official in prison
Vladimir Yevdokimov, an executive at Roscosmos convicted in embezzlement case, died from ‘gaping stab wound to the neck’, reports said on Monday
Russian authorities are investigating the murder of a senior space official in a Moscow prison cell as reports emerged that he died from a deep stab wound to the throat. Vladimir Yevdokimov, a 55-year-old executive director at the Russian state space agency, died while in detention on fraud charges over his previous role at the MiG aircraft company, which makes fighter jets. A law enforcement source told Tass state news agency on Monday that investigators’ preliminary finding was that he died from “a gaping stab wound to the neck” which caused “great loss of blood”. [...]
Source: The Guardian [20 March 2017]

Jailed Russian Activist Mokhnatkin Sentenced To Two More Years
A Russian opposition activist jailed for assaulting police during a protest in Moscow has been handed an additional two years in jail. Sergei Mokhnatkin was found guilty of "disrupting operations of a penitentiary" on March 20 and sentenced the same day, activist Tatyana Pashkevich wrote on her Facebook account. The Arkhangelsk regional prosecutor's office told Interfax that Mokhnatkin's remaining time in a maximum-security penal colony will end 2 1/2 years from March 20. Mokhnatkin was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in 2014 after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers during a December 2013 protest in Moscow. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [20 March 2017]

Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Splashed With Green Liquid in Siberia
An unknown assailant splashed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday with a green liquid known to be hard to wash off as the vocal Kremlin critic opened his campaign headquarters in the Siberian town of Barnaul. A video filmed by a Navalny supporter shows the anti-corruption activist walking along a street in Barnaul, more than 3,000 kms (1,864 miles) from Moscow, and shaking hands with residents when a man approaches him and throws the liquid at him. [...]
Source: The New York Times (Reuters) [20 March 2017]

Court Revokes License of One of Russia's Best Private Universities
An arbitration court has revoked the licence of European University at St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s best private institutions of higher learning, upholding a decision by Rosobrnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science, according to the university's website. The university says it will challenge the ruling, which doesn’t take effect until a court has considered the appeal. Rosobrnadzor contests the qualification standards European University applies to its “instructor-practitioners” — a vaguely defined labor category — and says the school breaks state regulations with the work hours it assigns to these employees. According to university officials, however, the government has refused to clarify what these standards are. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [20 March 2017]

Russia orchestrates fast-track trial to imprison pro-Ukrainian activist in Crimea
The trial in Russian-occupied Crimea has begun [on 16 March 2017] of Volodymyr Balukh, a Ukrainian from North Crimea whose latest arrest came just a week after he nailed a plaque to his home in honour of activists slain during Euromaidan. The case has reached the court with suspicious speed given that the only thing that is entirely clear-cut is the political motivation behind the charges. This has already prompted the renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre to declare the Crimean farmer a political prisoner and he is one of the prisoners whose release the European Parliament demanded in their March 16 resolution. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [Halya Coynash - 20 March 2017]

17 March 2017

posted 17 Mar 2017, 14:03 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Mar 2017, 14:11 ]

Russia court to consider Jehovah's Witnesses ban
Russia's justice ministry has called for a ban on the Jehovah's Witnesses, a Christian movement that zealously seeks converts and rejects military service. The ministry has asked Russia's supreme court to close the group's headquarters and stop its 175,000 Russian members sharing "extremist" literature. A spokesman for the group called the proposed ban "persecuting worshippers just for manifesting their faith". Some Russian regions have already shut down branches of Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the justice ministry, the Jehovah's Witnesses' activities "violate Russia's law on combating extremism". [...]
Source: BBC [17 March 2017]

Russian Journalist Dies In Unexplained Circumstances
Russian media reports say a journalist who has criticized the government has died in unexplained circumstances in the Siberian region of Buryatia. Thirty-five-year-old Yevgeny Khamaganov died in a hospital emergency room in Buryatia's capital, Ulan-Ude, on March 16, according to local media reports. The cause of death was unclear and there has been no official statement. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 March 2017]

Russian Lawmakers Order Probe Of RFE/RL, VOA, And CNN
The lower house of the Russian parliament has ordered a probe into whether RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Voice of America, and CNN are in compliance with Russian laws. The move by the State Duma on March 17 comes just days after U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat-New Hampshire) introduced a bill that would empower the Justice Department to investigate possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT, the state-backed Russian news network. The Russian initiative was introduced by Konstantin Zatulin, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, which holds an overwhelming majority in the Duma. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 March 2017]

Russian Activist Convicted For Repost...About Repost He Was Convicted For
It's no secret that social media reposts can land you in hot water in Russia, where numerous people have been fined or imprisoned in recent years for sharing content deemed "extremist" by authorities. But what if you repost news about your punishment for reposting banned content? As opposition activist and politician Dmitry Semenov found out this week, that's not always safe either. A court in the central Russian city of Cheboksary on March 16 found Semenov, 27, guilty of "mass distribution of extremist materials" for reposting a news item about his earlier conviction for reposting "extremist" content. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [author: Carl Schreck - 17 March 2017]

OSCE Prolongs Mission In Ukraine By One Year, Amid Rising Tensions
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on March 16 prolonged its monitoring mission in Ukraine by one year -- until March 2018. Three years after Moscow illegally annexed the Crimean region, tensions between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists are still high and a 2015 cease-fire agreement is violated regularly. Fighting has claimed the lives of at least 20 civilians since the start of the year and wounded almost 100 more, according to the United Nations. In recent weeks, the observers have reported a deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine and an increase in the number of cease-fire violations. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 March 2017]

Memorial Human Rights Centre: Magomed Aushev recognizes suspect of torturing him
Magomed Aushev has identified one of the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Ingushetia, who applied violence to him during the confrontation. However, the suspect refuted Aushev's words, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" reports. Earlier, Toma Tsechoeva, an Aushev's advocate, noted that investigators, under various pretexts, had refused to hold a confrontation. On March 10, in the presence of witnesses, Aushev confronted five persons for identification. Aushev immediately pointed to one of them – an employee of the Centre to Combat Extremism (CCE) of the Ingush MIA, the HRC "Memorial" reports, adding that the above investigative actions were conducted in the absence of the suspect's advocate. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [15 March 2017]

16 March 2017

posted 16 Mar 2017, 10:19 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Mar 2017, 10:20 ]

Russia's National Guard Creates New Task Force to Monitor Social Media
The government task force, headed by former Interior Ministry official headed by Larisa Goryachko, will comb the internet for “extremist content” posted online, the Rosbalt news site reported Thursday. Convictions related to "extremist content" posted online have skyrocketed in recent years as Russia has brought in strict new anti-terror laws. Moscow police reported in July 2016 that it had recorded a 86 percent rise in online extremism in the capital in the first half of the year compared to 2015. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [16 March 2017]

FSB abduct & threaten to bury Crimean Tatar alive to force false testimony
A young Crimean Tatar was effectively abducted on Wednesday by Russian FSB officers who took him to a field and threatened to bury him if he refused to testify against 6 men, including a prominent human rights activist, facing gravely flawed charges. Emil Mukhteremov refused and was thankfully released after several hours, with the FSB head now denying any of this, despite a witness who was with him when the FSB arrived. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [author: Halya Coynash - 16 March 2017]

Russian Supreme Court asked to find Jehovah’s Witness managing organization extremist
Russia’s Justice Ministry has asked the Supreme Court to find the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses an extremist organization, the court announced on Thursday. The Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses is a head organization managing local branches of Jehovah’s Witnesses across Russia. According to the Center, the organization has not received a letter from the Justice Ministry and claims that if it is going to be found extremist, consequences for the religious freedom in Russia would be extremely negative. Jehovah’s Witnesses have had many legal problems in Russia. [...]

Source: RAPSI [16 March 2017]

Damage caused by identified corruption crimes in 2016 reaches $741 mln
Amount of corruption crimes revealed by Russian Interior Ministry's Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department has risen by 21% with identified damage caused by these crimes reaching as high as 43 billion rubles (about $741 mln), the Department’s press-service announced on Thursday. According to the Department, in 2016 officers revealed about 74,700 economic crimes and 18,600 corruption ones. [...]
Source: RAPSI [16 March 2017]

15 March 2017

posted 15 Mar 2017, 12:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Mar 2017, 12:48 ]

UN Says Nearly 10,000 People Killed In Eastern Ukraine Conflict Since 2014
Almost 10,000 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since a conflict broke out between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists in mid-April 2014, the Office of UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report published on March 15. "The total death toll from mid-April 2014 to 12 March 2017 is at least 9,940, with at least 23,455 people injured," the report said, adding that the estimate was conservative. [...]

Source: RFE/RL [15 March 2017]

Editor Of Russia's Regnum News Agency Detained In Moscow On Minsk' Request
The editor in chief of Russia's Regnum news agency, Belarusian citizen Yuriy Baranchyk, has been detained in Moscow on Minsk's request. The Belarusian Investigative Committee says Baranchyk was detained on March 14 and his possible extradition to Minsk is under discussion now. Baranchyk, who lives in Moscow, is wanted in Minsk on suspicion of "inciting racial, ethnic, religious or other social hatred or discord by a group of individuals." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [15 March 2017]

Russian Duma Adopts Law Limiting Live Broadcasts Of Open Trials
The Russian State Duma has approved legislation that would strengthen restrictions on live broadcasts of open trials on television, radio, and the Internet. According to the law adopted on March 15, broadcasts of open trials must have permission from the judges. The judges will also have a right to impose limitations on the broadcasts and set broadcasting locations in courtrooms. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [15 March 2017]

Treason Convict Was Pressured To Seek Pardon From Putin, Lawyer Says
A Russian woman who was convicted of treason over a text message and pardoned by President Vladimir Putin was pressured by her jailer to ask for clemency, her lawyer said. Attorney Ivan Pavlov said on Facebook on March 15 that Oksana Sevastidi was instructed to appeal to Putin for a pardon by the warden of Lefortovo detention center in Moscow, Aleksei Romashin, in mid-February. Sevastidi, 46, was sentenced to seven years in prison in March 2016 for texting a friend about a Russian train carrying military equipment toward Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region during a five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [15 March 2017]

Supreme Court Reduces Sentence of Russian Woman Pardoned for Treason
Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld a verdict of high treason against Oksana Sevastidi, a Russian woman jailed for seven years after sending two text messages to a friend living in Georgia. Sevastidi, who received a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, saw her sentence symbolically reduced to just three years imprisonment, but was not acquitted of the crime, her lawyer Ivan Pavlov told The Moscow Times. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [15 March 2017]

State Duma Committee approves bill on blocking mirror websites
The State Duma Committee for informational policy has recommended to pass a bill on blocking mirror websites containing illegal information and prescribing the procedure of out-of-court access to these websites, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday. The bill was drafted based on examination of practice of blocking forever websites, which repeatedly and illegally distributed information containing objects of copyright and (or) related rights or information required for their procurement with the use of data telecommunications networks. The examination revealed some deficiencies including inapplicability of prompt measures regarding automatically created “mirrors” of the blocked websites. [...]
Source: RAPSI [15 March 2017]

14 March 2017

posted 14 Mar 2017, 11:36 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Mar 2017, 11:55 ]

European Court Says Russian State Behind 2007 Attack On Rights Defender
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the Russian state was behind an attack on a prominent rights defender and three journalists in 2007, and ordered Moscow to compensate them for "illegal freedom deprivation and torture." The ECHR's March 14 ruling says that Russian security services were involved in the attack on the leader of the Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center, Oleg Orlov, and a crew from Russian channel REN-TV. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 March 2017]

Russian Independent Pollster's Status as a ‘Foreign Agent’ Is Final

The Moscow city court has upheld a lower court’s ruling in support of the Justice Ministry’s decision to add independent pollster the Levada Center to Russia’s federal registry of “foreign agents,” according to the news agency Interfax. Last November, a district court in Moscow rejected a lawsuit by the Levada Center to overturn its new “foreign agent” status. In September 2016, the Justice Ministry blacklisted the polling agency, arguing that the Levada Center accepts foreign funding and engages in “political activity.” [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [14 March 2017]

Authorities Say 15 Alleged Members Of Hizb Ut-Tahrir Detained In Russia's Tatarstan
Security authorities in Russia's Tatarstan region have detained 15 alleged members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir organization. A spokesman for the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Tatarstan said on March 14 that the suspects were detained after a special operation. Thirty homes were searched in Kazan and Tatarstan's two districts, and books with suspected extremist content were confiscated at the searched homes, the FSB spokesman said. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [14 March 2017]

ECtHR awards €50,000 to Chechen militant sentenced to life for murders
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has awarded €50,000 in compensation to Chechen militant Arsan Mukayev sentenced to life in prison for murdering members of the Russian armed forces and law enforcement officers. The court held that rights of Mukayev, who complained of tortures by police, had been violated. According to Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Mukayev, the member of a militant group headed by Islam Chalayev, was implicated in 13 murders committed in the Chechen Republic including the murder of Vladimir Moroz. the prosecutor of Grozny, the republic’s capital. [...]

Source: RAPSI [14 March 2017]

ECtHR refuses to review case of Moscow riots activist Belousov
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) dismissed an application filed by Russia seeking to review a case of Yaroslav Belousov, who had been sentenced for participation in Moscow's 2012 Bolotnaya riots, lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky told RAPSI on Tuesday. Therefore, the ECHR ruling on two Belousov’s complaints has taken effect. [...]

Source: RAPSI [14 March 2017]

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