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17 July 2017

posted 17 Jul 2017, 09:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Jul 2017, 10:13 ]
Colleagues Defend Russia's 'Pokemon Go' Blogger Listed Alongside 'Terrorists And Extremists'
Russian Internet personalities have rallied to the defense of a blogger, who was convicted of hate speech for a video in which he played Pokemon Go in a church, shortly after he was placed on an official government list of designated terrorists and extremists. The video, published July 16 on the popular YouTube channel of St. Petersburg-based blogger Danila Poperechny, came days after it emerged that Ruslan Sokolovsky had been added to an official list of "terrorists and extremists"maintained by Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [author: Carl Schreck; 17 July 2017]

Three Years On, Families of MH17 Victims Still Seeking Justice
Evert van Zijtveld doesn't want to talk about the 2014 plane crash in eastern Ukraine that took the lives of his two teenage children. He wants justice. But three years after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the bereaved Dutch father -- who also lost his in-laws in the crash -- is still waiting. As are the loved ones of all 298 passengers and crew killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down during what should have been a routine trip from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. "Whoever did it should be brought to justice. That's the only story I can share with anyone," van Zijtveld told RFE/RL by telephone on July 13, four days before the third anniversary of the disaster. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [17 July 2017]

Kremlin Sees 'Nothing Unusual' In Kadyrov's Call for Gay Purge
The Kremlin came to the defense of Chechnya's leader on Monday, saying controversial comments the republic's leader recently made about gay men had been “taken out of context,” the TASS news agency reported. In excerpts of an interview with U.S. television network HBO, Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, called for the removal of gay people "to purify the [nation’s] blood." Kadyrov was responding to reports that security forces in the restive republic had detained, tortured, and even killed gay men. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [17 July 2017]

Judge Under Fire for Extravagant $2M Wedding Party
A judge in southern Russia who allegedly splurged $2 million on her daughter’s wedding party has come under fire for extravagant spending. Yelena Khakhaleva, a deputy chairperson in the Krasnodar regional court, hosted the party, which was attended by several Russian celebrities, on June 10 in the city’s most expensive restaurant. Sergei Zhorin, a prominent celebrity lawyer based in Moscow, blasted the judge’s spending, saying her colleagues earned so little they were forced to eat dust. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [17 July 2017]

Prosecutor demands 4-year jail term for alleged organizer of unlawful referendum
Prosecutor had demanded a 4-year prison term for a RBC journalist Alexander Sokolov, charged with masterminding the activities of an extremist organization, RAPSI reported from the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow on Monday. The prosecutor also asked the court to give other defendants in the case, Kirill Barabash, Valery Parfyonov, and publicist Yury Mukhin, sentences ranging from 4 to 4.5 years behind bars. According to Mukhin, he and other people charged in the case, are indeed members of the Initiative Group to Campaign for a Referendum for Responsible Government, which, the authorities believe, is the successor of earlier banned People’s Will Army (PWA). However, as Mukhin has told RAPSI, the action group aiming to organize the referendum was established yet in 2010. [...]
Source: RAPSI [17 July 2017]

Jehovah's Witnesses claim sharply increased pressure on their members in Southern Russia
After the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to eliminate 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist, believers from the regions of Southern Russia, questioned by the "Caucasian Knot", complained about the sharp increase in pressure on members of their communities. On April 20 the SC of Russia satisfied the demand of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to liquidate all the 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia as extremist. The believers have treated the verdict as biased and promised to appeal against it. The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Yaroslav Sivoulsky, a spokesperson for the Management Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, that the decision of the Supreme Court affected 175,000 followers of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, since with the stroke of a pen, the SC liquidated all 396 Jehovah's Witnesses organizations registered in Russia and banned their activities. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [17 July 2017]

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