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20 March 2017

posted 20 Mar 2017, 12:42 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Mar 2017, 12:42 ]
Russia opens investigation into murder of space agency official in prison
Vladimir Yevdokimov, an executive at Roscosmos convicted in embezzlement case, died from ‘gaping stab wound to the neck’, reports said on Monday
Russian authorities are investigating the murder of a senior space official in a Moscow prison cell as reports emerged that he died from a deep stab wound to the throat. Vladimir Yevdokimov, a 55-year-old executive director at the Russian state space agency, died while in detention on fraud charges over his previous role at the MiG aircraft company, which makes fighter jets. A law enforcement source told Tass state news agency on Monday that investigators’ preliminary finding was that he died from “a gaping stab wound to the neck” which caused “great loss of blood”. [...]
Source: The Guardian [20 March 2017]

Jailed Russian Activist Mokhnatkin Sentenced To Two More Years
A Russian opposition activist jailed for assaulting police during a protest in Moscow has been handed an additional two years in jail. Sergei Mokhnatkin was found guilty of "disrupting operations of a penitentiary" on March 20 and sentenced the same day, activist Tatyana Pashkevich wrote on her Facebook account. The Arkhangelsk regional prosecutor's office told Interfax that Mokhnatkin's remaining time in a maximum-security penal colony will end 2 1/2 years from March 20. Mokhnatkin was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in 2014 after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers during a December 2013 protest in Moscow. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [20 March 2017]

Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Splashed With Green Liquid in Siberia
An unknown assailant splashed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday with a green liquid known to be hard to wash off as the vocal Kremlin critic opened his campaign headquarters in the Siberian town of Barnaul. A video filmed by a Navalny supporter shows the anti-corruption activist walking along a street in Barnaul, more than 3,000 kms (1,864 miles) from Moscow, and shaking hands with residents when a man approaches him and throws the liquid at him. [...]
Source: The New York Times (Reuters) [20 March 2017]

Court Revokes License of One of Russia's Best Private Universities
An arbitration court has revoked the licence of European University at St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s best private institutions of higher learning, upholding a decision by Rosobrnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science, according to the university's website. The university says it will challenge the ruling, which doesn’t take effect until a court has considered the appeal. Rosobrnadzor contests the qualification standards European University applies to its “instructor-practitioners” — a vaguely defined labor category — and says the school breaks state regulations with the work hours it assigns to these employees. According to university officials, however, the government has refused to clarify what these standards are. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [20 March 2017]

Russia orchestrates fast-track trial to imprison pro-Ukrainian activist in Crimea
The trial in Russian-occupied Crimea has begun [on 16 March 2017] of Volodymyr Balukh, a Ukrainian from North Crimea whose latest arrest came just a week after he nailed a plaque to his home in honour of activists slain during Euromaidan. The case has reached the court with suspicious speed given that the only thing that is entirely clear-cut is the political motivation behind the charges. This has already prompted the renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre to declare the Crimean farmer a political prisoner and he is one of the prisoners whose release the European Parliament demanded in their March 16 resolution. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [Halya Coynash - 20 March 2017]