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12 January 2018

posted 12 Jan 2018, 10:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Jan 2018, 11:27 ]
New Bill On 'Foreign Agent' Media Advances In Russian Duma
Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a bill that would enable the government to brand some individual journalists and bloggers -- not only media outlets -- as foreign agents. The bill, passed in the first of three readings in the State Duma on January 12, allows the Justice Ministry to designate people who are "performing the function of a media outlet" as foreign agents. It follows a law signed by President Vladimir Putin in November that empowered the ministry to designate media outlets that are based or funded from outside Russia as "foreign agents." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 January 2018]

Early Release Denied For Leader Of Russian Hackers Group
A court in Moscow has refused to grant early release to the leader of a group believed to be behind the hacking of high-profile Internet accounts, including the Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The Lefortovo District Court on January 12 rejected a motion for the release on parole for Vladimir Anikeyev, the leader of Shaltai-Boltai -- Russian for Humpty Dumpty. The hearing was held behind closed doors as some materials in the case are classified. Anikeyev was handed a two-year prison sentence in July after striking a plea bargain and agreeing to cooperate with the authorities. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [12 January 2018]

Students Reportedly Forced To Collect Signatures for Putin
An activist based in St. Petersburg has sounded the alarm on a local university that is reportedly forcing students to collect signatures for President Vladimir Putin’s 2018 re-election bid.  Independent candidates, which Putin is running as in this campaign, are required to collect at least 300,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The presidential campaign spokesman announced on Friday that 408,000 signatures have been gathered so far, the state-run TASS news agency reported. First-year students at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University were reportedly ordered to collect at least 14 signatures for Putin’s nomination, local activist Oksana Borisova wrote on the Russian Vkontakte social network earlier in the day. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [12 January 2018]

HRC "Memorial" reports threats to relatives of Chechen rights defender Oyub Titiev
Law enforcers have demanded from relatives of Oyub Titiev, the detained Chechen rights defender, that his son and brother should appear at the police, otherwise they would face troubles. This was reported by the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Titiev was detained in Chechnya on January 9. According to policemen, some 180 grams of marijuana was found on him. A criminal case was opened against Titiev, said his advocate. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [11 January 2018]

Ingush Opposition Activist Detained On Illegal Weapons Possession Charge
A prominent opposition activist from Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia has been detained upon arrival to his native region. The Ingush Interior Ministry on January 11 said Magomed Khazbiyev was detained on his arrival from neighboring Chechnya, where he had been under local government protection since 2015. Khazbiyev, a fierce critic of Ingush officials and President Vladimir Putin, has been wanted in Ingushetia for alleged illegal weapons possession and insulting an official. Khazbiyev said earlier that he planned to voluntarily return to Ingushetia to answer questions related to the case against him. He maintains his innocence, saying the charges are politically motivated. [...]
Source RFE/RL [11 January 2017]