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6 June 2017

posted 6 Jun 2017, 10:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Jun 2017, 11:44 ]
Russian court drops charges against Guardian reporter
Alec Luhn was detained by police while covering a protest in Moscow organised by opposition politician Alexei Navalny
A Moscow court has dropped charges against Guardian reporter Alec Luhn who faced a fine or community service after he was detained by police during a reporting assignment. The charge of “violating the order of participating in a public event” came after Luhn was detained by police while covering a protest march in central Moscow on 26 March, organised by opposition politician Alexei Navalny. [...]
Source: The Guardian [6 June 2017]

Hundreds Protest Moscow City Hall's Plans To Demolish Soviet-Era Buildings
Several hundred people rallied outside the Russian parliament on June 6 to protest a plan to demolish Soviet-era low-rise apartment blocks. The State Duma on June 6 hosted Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who was briefing the lower chamber of parliament on the redevelopment project to pull down entire neighborhoods of Soviet-era buildings. Sobyanin plans to demolish 4,500 buildings erected in the 1950s and 1960s and replace them with high-rise apartment buildings to ease a housing crisis. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [6 June 2017]

Activists: Chechen Man Who Claimed Torture Narrowly Escapes Transfer To Grozny
A native of Chechnya who claimed in 2013 that he was tortured by police has managed to narrowly escape transfer to Grozny, the Chechen capital, following his release from custody in Russia's Bryansk region, a rights group says. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture said on June 6 that Murad Amriyev, a former world champion in mixed martial arts, evaded law-enforcement officials from Chechnya who had blocked exits from a prosecutor's office where he had been taken and were demanding he be handed over to them. Amriyev was detained by the Bryansk police on June 4 while travelling by train to Moscow and was expected to be transferred to the Chechen capital, Grozny. The rights group has warned that he could face abuse, torture, or even death if he is returned to Chechnya. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [6 June 2017]

Church of Scientology Raided by Russian Security Forces (Again)
The headquarters of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg has been raided by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) on June 6 according to the MediaZona news site. The security services accused the Church of extremism, inciting hatred, and operating an illegal business. The charges for operating an illegal business reportedly stem from the Church's sale of pamphlets to parishioners. The Church of Scientology headquarters in St. Petersburg was last raided in June 2016. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [6 June 2017]

ECtHR awards over €15,000 to ex-Yukos security chief sentenced to life
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has awarded over €15,000 in compensation including costs and expenses to former Yukos security chief Alexey Pichugin sentenced in Russia to life in prison. Pichugin has complained over alleged breach of presumption of innocence and assessment of evidence by Russian courts in the second case against him. [...]
Source: RAPSI [6 June 2017]

Russian TV uses Crimean Tatar political prisoner to claim Ukraine is "funding terrorism"
The Crimean Ukrainians imprisoned in occupied Crimea or Russia on fabricated ‘terrorist’ charges are increasingly used as part of Russia’s propaganda war against Ukraine. Russian television channels can be relied upon to use fake video footage to turn any armed search and arrest of Crimean Tatar activists, for example, into the seizure of dangerous ‘terrorists’. Some of the news ‘stories’ are devoid of any information content, with the only aim being to make false claims about the prisoner himself and Ukraine. REN-TV recently came up with such a ‘feature’ on recognized political prisoner Nuri Primov and a visit from the Ukrainian consul. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [6 June 2017]

Gay from Dagestan describes his escape from Russia
People with unconventional sexual orientation are subjected to persecution not only in Chechnya, but also in other regions of Northern Caucasus. A homosexual who fled to Turkey from Dagestan reported how he was blackmailed by law enforcers in his homeland. A native of Dagestan, living in Turkey, who introduced himself as Ruslan, has claimed that in his homeland, many gays, being subjected to violence and humiliation, are forced to work for the law enforcement agencies. He himself fell victim to blackmail after his friend was subjected to pressure from the law enforcers and gave them a record made by a hidden video camera. At the FSB, the young man was shown a compromising material collected against him. In exchange for silence, they offered him to work in Syria. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [5 June 2017]

Eyewitnesses report raids on Salafi mosques and halal cafes in Makhachkala
At night of June 5, in Makhachkala, about 90 people were taken to police stations during mass detentions of Muslims. This was reported by members of the Muslim community of the region. On June 3, according to eyewitnesses, the detentions took place in Salafi mosques and in halal catering points. The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was informed by believers of the mosque in the village of Semender that in the evening, policemen checked passports of the mosque-goers. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [5 June 2017]