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16 February 2017

posted 16 Feb 2017, 11:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Feb 2017, 11:30 ]
Crimean Journalist's Trial To Start In Simferopol
Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor accused of separatism in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian region of Crimea, is preparing to face trial. Semena's lawyer, Andrei Sabinin, said on February 14 that preliminary hearings into the case will be held by the Zaliznychnyy district court in Crimea's capital, Simferopol, on February 17. The journalist's other lawyer, Emil Kurbedinov, told RFE/RL on February 8 that the actual trial for Semena will start on February 28. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [16 February 2017]

Russia's 'Big Brother' Law Facing Delays
Controversial anti-terror legislation requiring Russian mobile phone providers to record users' messages and phone calls could be delayed until 2019. New laws forcing companies to store customers’ messages, photos and videos for at least six months were due to come into force on July 1, 2018. The change will instead allow operators to implement the law step-by-step in order to help them offset the legislation's massive costs, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Thursday. [...] 

Source: The Moscow Times [16 February 2017]

Support in Russia for bloody dictator Joseph Stalin at record high
The latest Levada Centre survey has found a record number of Russian citizens with a positive attitude to murderous Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin. If in 2001, soon after Vladimir Putin first became President, the majority of Russians were still negative in their assessment, in January 2017 46% viewed him “with admiration, respect, or liking” (4%, 32% and 10%, respectively). The results reflect a general trend in Russia towards ‘rehabilitation’ of the Soviet tyrant and increasing silence about his victims. They are hardly surprising when Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has spoken positively of the place the dictator holds in the country’s memory and Olga Vasilyeva, Putin’s recent choice for Education Minister, is known for an extremely specific view on Stalin and for remarks denying the number of his victims. The reappearance of portraits and busts of Stalin reached a crescendo in 2015 around events marking the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, and it is interesting that the results show an even more positive view now. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [16 February 2017]

Check of application on Geriev’s kidnapping resumed for the fifth time
Today, the Investigating Department (ID) for Chechnya of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) has cancelled its earlier refusal to open a criminal case against the power agents, who had kidnapped Zhalaudi Geriev, a "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, threatened him with death and planted drugs on him, said the advocate Alaudi Musaev. On December 28, 2016, the Chechen Supreme Court upheld the verdict to Zhalaudi Geriev, who on September 5, 2016, was sentenced by the Shali District Court to three years of imprisonment on the charge of possession of marijuana. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on December 26, 2016, the investigator Bakaev refused to open a criminal case against the operative agents, who, according to Geriev’s defence, kidnapped him and planted drugs on him. On January 11, the above ID of the ICRF issued a refusal to open a criminal case and appointed a new procedural check. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [15 February 2017]

HRC "Memorial" asks GPO to interfere in case of Abdurakhmanov, native of Chechnya
The Chechen Prosecutor's Office ignores complaints of Tumsu Abdurakhmanov, a resident of the republic, about his unlawful persecution by the Chechen police, Alexander Cherkasov, the Chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", said in his appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) of Russia. Tumsu Abdurakhmanov asserts that he is prosecuted because of his conflict with a high-ranking relative of the head of Chechnya. Earlier, Abdurakhmanov told the "Caucasian Knot" about it. He claims that he had to leave Chechnya for Georgia "after threats received from a high-ranking relative of Ramzan Kadyrov" and "fabrication of a criminal case about his participation in foreign illegal armed formations in Syria." However, the Ministry for Refugees' Matters of Georgia refused to grant political asylum to Tumsu Abdurakhmanov. According to the HRC "Memorial", Abdurakhmanov had earlier "repeatedly sent applications about his unlawful criminal prosecution to the Russia’s GPO. The applications were redirected to the Chechen Prosecutor's Office, which ignored them, the edition "Kavkaz.Realii" (Realities of the Caucasus) reports today with reference to the HRC "Memorial". [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [15 February 2017]

Krasnodar farmers report detention of Alexei Volchenko
According to Oleg Petrov, a farmer, today, Alexei Volchenko, the leader of the "Polite Farmers” movement, was detained by law enforcers. "I managed to call him and talked to him for a few minutes, he said that he’s suspected of bribing a medic," Oleg Petrov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. The farmer has noted that "he knows no details of Volchenko’s detention." When Petrov called him, Alexei said that "some unknown man came to him and offered to make some medical certificate for money." "Volchenko said he lodged an application to the police about the man, but in the end he was detained himself," said Petrov. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [15 February 2017]

Chechnya: detainees’ relatives have no information about them for over a month
Relatives of the young people, detained in January in the Kurchaloi and Shali Districts of Chechnya, state that they have no information about their whereabouts and fate. The police refused to specify the number of detainees and stated the ongoing investigation. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that residents of Chechnya reported mass detentions in eight dwelling settlements of the republic after the armed clash on January 11 in the village of Tsotsi-Yurt of the Kurchaloi District. Relatives say that they have no information about the detainees’ whereabouts. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [15 February 2017]