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18 May 2017

posted 18 May 2017, 08:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 May 2017, 09:16 ]
Opening Of Navalny's Election Headquarters In Moscow Postponed Again
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says he has had to postpone the opening of his election campaign headquarters in Moscow. The opening of the headquarters was originally scheduled for May 17, but Navalny's campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, said on May 16 that the opening was moved to May 24 due to "problems with premises." He has faced numerous obstacles while opening campaign offices across Russia. Earlier this month, the opening of Navalny's election headquarters was postponed in Moscow, as well as in Vologda, Volgograd, Vladivostok, Vladimir, and Krasnodar, after landlords decided to cancel lease agreements. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 May 2017]

Anti-Corruption Protester Jailed for 8 Months After Navalny's Moscow Rally
A protester arrested at Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption rally in Moscow on March 26 has been sentenced to eight months in prison. Yuri Kuliy is the first demonstrator to face the court after the protest, which saw more than 1,000 people detained by police in Moscow alone. The demonstration, which was led by opposition presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny, had not been given official permission to take place. Kuliy, a Moscow-based actor, pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Russia's national guard. He told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio station that he had pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving a suspended sentence. Prosecutors had originally asked the judge for a two-year jail term. Kuliy's lawyer, Alexei Liptser, maintains that the actor had grabbed the officer's hand in a bid to protect an elderly man from the riot police. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [18 May 2017]

Moscow City Court refuses to release Ukrainian journalist charged with spying
MOSCOW, May 18 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Moscow City Court has dismissed an appeal filed by legal defense of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who stands charged with espionage, against extension of his detention until June 30, RAPSI learnt from the court’s press service on Thursday. According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the Ukrainian citizen "purposively collected classified information about the Armed Forces and National Guard of Russia." Leak of data abroad could cause damage to the national defense capability, the FSB claimed earlier. On October 7, charges were brought against Sushchenko. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. [...]
Source: RAPSI [18 May 2017]

Russian prison staff jailed for torturing 16-year-old Ukrainian to death
18 months after Vitaly Pop, who was just 16, died of appalling injuries on his first night in a Russian ‘corrective’ colony, two prison officers have received 11-year sentences, with eight others sentenced to terms from two and a half to five years. Although the other young victims reported that Vitaly had received particularly bad treatment because of his Ukrainian accent, this may well have simply served as a pretext, like others, for the savage beating. Although six other 15-17-year-olds had also received injuries, it was almost certainly only the fatal outcome that prompted action. There were, even so, attempts at a cover-up. The young lad’s death could not be concealed since an ambulance had finally been called, but the acting head of the prison order ordered that a report be written claiming that Pop had attacked a member of staff. [...] 

Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [author: Halya Coynash; 18 May 2017]

European Parliament Demands 'Credible Investigation' Into Abuse Of Gay Men In Chechnya
The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the authorities in Russia's Chechnya region to allow international human rights organizations to conduct a "credible investigation into the alleged crimes against men perceived to be gay" in the North Caucasus republic. The resolution, which passed with overwhelming support on May 18, also demands authorities end what it says is a campaign of persecution and "immediately release those who are still illegally detained." [...]
Source: RFE/RL [18 May 2017]

Human rights defenders announce campaign of solidarity with Chechen LGBT people
Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, the Anti-Discrimination Centre "Memorial", the Centre for Civil Liberties and the FIDH, are launching a campaign of messages of solidarity with LGBT people of Chechnya and Donbas. Let us remind us that on April 1, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported about the mass detentions and killings of LGBT people. The residents of Chechnya interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" reported that they were aware about the physical violence used against gays in the republic long before those publications. The Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) denies the information about the persecution of gays. "A terrible wave of violence motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity in Chechnya has recently been widely discussed. The media report evidence of threats, extortion, extrajudicial detentions, and secret prisons, where dozens of people are tortured," reports Anti-Discrimination Centre "Memorial". [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [17 May 2017]

Tatiana Moskalkova: information of "Novaya Gazeta" with names of gays harassed in Chechnya sent to ICRF
Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, has reported that the appeal of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" with the indication of the specific names and surnames of the gays persecuted in Chechnya had been sent to the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF). In Grozny, officials called the campaign to protect gays in Chechnya an attempt to exert pressure on Ramzan Kadyrov. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 1, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" published an article about mass detentions and killings in Chechnya of men suspected of non-conventional sexual orientation. On May 5, President Vladimir Putin promised Tatiana Moskalkova to instruct the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the General Prosecutor's Office to help her in checking the reports of the persecution of gays in Chechnya. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [17 May 2017]

Mikhail Fedotov says Ramzan Kadyrov promises to assist law enforcement agencies in verifying reported violations against LGBT people
The meeting of Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Human Rights Council (HRC) under the President of Russia, with Ramzan Kadyrov has become the first visit of the HRC members to Chechnya after the republic was excluded from a series of travelling sessions in Northern Caucasus in June 2016. The information about harassments of gays in Chechnya was not the reason for the trip, but it was also discussed with the leader of Chechnya, Mikhail Fedotov reports. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 10, the exhibition dedicated to the memorial to the victims of political repressions "The Wall of Sorrow" was opened in Grozny. The opening ceremony was attended by Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia. During his meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov, Mikhail Fedotov raised the topic of the harassment of gays in Chechnya. [...] Mikhail Fedotov has reported that Ramzan Kadyrov "promised to assist the law enforcement agencies in verifying the information described in the publications of the newspaper 'Novaya Gazeta'." [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [17 May 2017]