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15 May 2018

posted 15 May 2018, 13:17 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 May 2018, 13:33 ]
Navalny Gets 30 Days In Jail For Anti-Putin Protests
A Moscow court has ordered opposition politician Aleksei Navalny to be jailed for 30 days over nationwide protests against President Vladimir Putin. In a ruling on May 15, the Tver district court said that Navalny repeatedly violated regulations for organizing public gatherings. The court later found him guilty of refusing to comply with police and sentenced him to 15 days. However, Navalny, who called the accusations against him "ridiculous," will serve both sentences at the same time. "They gave me 30 days, and the 'trial' is still going," Navalny tweeted after the initial ruling. [...]

Source: RFE/RL [15 May 2018]

European Court Rules Russia Unlawfully Refused To Issue Passport To Navalny
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay opposition politician Aleksei Navalny 2,000 euros ($2,400) in compensation for what it ruled was the unlawful refusal to issue him a passport. The decision was posted on the court's website on May 15. The ECHR ruled that the Federal Migration Service's refusal to issue Navalny a passport contradicts the European Convention on Human Rights. It ordered the state to pay the compensation within three months. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [15 May 2018]

Jailed, Hunger-Striking Ukrainian On Trial Again In Russian-Controlled Crimea
Volodymyr Balukh, an imprisoned pro-Kyiv activist who has been on hunger strike for 55 days and whose release has been demanded by Washington, is on trial again in Russian-controlled Crimea. The trial of Balukh, one of dozens of Crimeans prosecuted by Russia in what rights groups say has been a persistent campaign to silence dissent since Moscow seized the Ukrainian region in 2014, began at Rozdolne district court on May 15. Balukh was sentenced in January to three years and seven months in a penal colony where convicts live close to an industrial facility or a farm where they work, after being convicted on a weapons-and-explosives-possession charge. Balukh's initial sentence to the same prison term in August had been annulled by an appeals court and returned for additional investigation. Balukh insists the case against him was politically motivated. [...]

Source: RFE/RL [15 May 2018]

Verdicts awaited in Russia’s most openly anti-Crimean Tatar ‘trial’
The ‘trial’ has ended in Russian-occupied Crimea of five Crimean Tatars accused of ‘involvement’ in a pre-annexation demonstration over which Russia has no jurisdiction. ‘Judge’ Serhiy Demenyuk is due to announce the verdict on June 4. This is unlikely to bring many surprises, given that this lawless case was not terminated at the first court hearing despite being prohibited by Russia’s own criminal code. The ‘prosecutor’ has demanded five-year suspended sentences for the two men – Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhy – who spent almost two years in detention and have been held under house arrest since 6 April 2017. 3.5-year suspended sentences were proposed for the other three men - Eskender Emirvaliev; Eskender Kantemirov and Talyat Yunusov. This is in spite of the fact that the prosecution has been unable to explain which country the men are alleged to have acted illegally in, and how they did so. The men are alleged to have disobeyed police orders, though none has been given specific details as to when this took place, and all are adamant that they neither received, nor disobeyed, any police orders. Any such orders would, of course, have been issued by one Ukrainian to another Ukrainian and not even remotely within Russia’s jurisdiction. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [15 May 2018]

Moscow Theater Director Released From Custody After Hospitalization
Russian investigators have decided to free the hospitalized former director of Moscow's embattled Gogol Center theater from pretrial detention. Aleksei Malobrodsky is charged with embezzlement and fraud in a case that has sent a chill through Russian culture. The Investigative Committee said late on May 14 that the custody measure against Malobrodsky would be changed from pretrial detention to an obligation to remain in Moscow until his trial. Handcuffs were removed from Malobrodsky's wrists in the hospital after the decision was announced. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [15 May 2018]

Russia's Security Chief Warns of 'Satanic' and Opposition Influences on Youth
The head of Russia’s Security Council has added satanists to a litany of bad influences that young Russians should be protected against. Young people played a leading role in nationwide anti-government rallies over the past year, leading senior Russian politicians to put forward legislature criminalizing the recruitment of underage Russians in protests. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [15 May 2018]

Chechen rights defenders urged Putin to stop persecution of Oyub Titiev
Scientists and art workers, clergymen, journalists and rights defenders have called on Vladimir Putin to transfer the consideration of the case of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", to the federal level. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 11, Oyub Titiev was awarded by the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) for his courage in defending human rights. Since January 11, 2018, he is under arrest on charges of possessing marijuana. He insists that the drug had been planted on him by a law enforcer. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [14 May 2018]

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya
Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor - by Tanya Lokshina
Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her in Grozny and killed her. I was in Chechnya for her funeral. The pain of seeing my best friend’s body, riddled with bullets, was eclipsed only by the horror of looking into the eyes of Lana, her 15-year-old orphaned daughter. [...]

Source: Human Rights Watch [15 May 2018]

Russian authorities tell about unsuccessful search for gays in Chechnya
The checks of information about the persecution of gays in Chechnya have reached a deadlock, as the authorities failed to find any members of the LGBT community there, Alexander Konovalov, the acting Russia's Minister of Justice, has announced. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in April 2017 the "Novaya Gazeta" reported about mass detentions and killings of men suspected of non-traditional sexual orientation in Chechnya. The Chechen authorities treated these materials as a provocation, but residents of Chechnya said that they had known about executions of gays long before the newspaper's publication. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [14 May 2018]

Russia Issues World Cup Visa to German Investigative Journalist After International Pressure
Russia has issued a visa to a German journalist whom it barred days earlier from receiving a visa for the World Cup following international pressure. Germany’s ARD television said last week that its investigative sports reporter Hajo Seppelt was refused accreditation and declared a persona non grata in Russia. The broadcaster and Reporters Without Borders condemned the move, while the German foreign minister appealed for Moscow to reverse its decision. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [15 May 2018]

Russian investigators seek to question German journalist in Rodchenkov case
Russian investigators seek to interrogate German journalist Hajo Seppelt as part of a case against former Director of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory and WADA informant Grigory Rodchenkov charged with abuse of office, the Investigative Committee’s press service reports Tuesday. If Seppelt comes to Russia, the Investigative Committee will again take steps to question him over circumstances became known to him during creating the documentary about doping violations allegedly committed by Russian athletes, the statement reads. [...]
Source: RAPSI [15 May 2018]

Russia: Repression, Discrimination Ahead of World Cup
FIFA Should Stand Up for Rights One Month Before Kickoff
The FIFA World Cup starting on June 14, 2018, will take place during the worst human rights crisis in Russia since the Soviet era, Human Rights Watch said today. FIFA should use its leverage with the Russian authorities to address labor rights abuses, restrictions on fundamental freedoms, and an ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders. The 44-page guide published today, “Russia: FIFA World Cup 2018 – Human Rights Guide for Reporters,” summarizes Human Rights Watch’s concerns associated with Russia’s preparations for and hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and outlines broader human rights concerns in the country. It also describes FIFA’s new human rights policies and how they can be more effectively engaged to address the serious violations in Russia. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [15 May 2018]

Number of complaints from Russia does not exceed European average – ECHR judge
The number of complaints from Russia filed with the European Court of Human Rights does not exceed European average, ECHR judge Angelika Nussberger said during a constitutional conference of the VIII Saint-Petersburg International Legal Forum (LF) on Tuesday. Nussberger added that ECHR does not entertain 70% of Russian applications. More than 120 representatives of Constitutional and Supreme courts representing 40 states and international organizations took part in the conference held at the LF on Tuesday. [...]
Source: RAPSI [15 May 2018]