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22 May 2017

posted 22 May 2017, 10:34 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 May 2017, 12:29 ]
Jehovah’s Witnesses turn to Council of Europe over Russia’s refusal to execute ECHR ruling
The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization banned in Russia as extremist has filed a complaint with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe over Moscow’s refusal to implement a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). A copy of the application has been published on the website of the Council of Europe. [...]

Source: RAPSI [22 May 2017]

Russian Supreme Court rules to arrest fugitive ex-judge Baranova in absentia
The Supreme Court of Russia has ruled to arrest former judge of the Moscow Commercial Court Irina Baranova, suspected of assisting in bribery and large scale fraud, in absentia, RAPSI learnt from the court’s press-service on Monday. The court ruled to put Baranova in detention for two months after the day she is to be apprehended. [...]

Source: RAPSI [22 May 2017]

Pokemon Go player appeals suspended sentence for inciting enmity
Videoblogger Ruslan Sokolovsky, who had received a 3.5-year suspended sentence for playing Pokemon Go in a church, has appealed his sentence, his lawyer Alexey Bushmakov told RAPSI on Monday. On May 22, Sokolovsky was found guilty of incitement of hatred, violation of religious rights and illegal possession of special technical means intended for obtaining secret information. [...]

Source: RAPSI [22 May 2017]

One in Four Russians Witness Police Brutality — Poll
Almost a quarter of Russians have witnessed or experienced beatings carried out by police and medical staff, a new report has revealed. Some 22 percent of people said they'd seen police attacks firsthand, while 12.3 percent of respondents said that they had personally fallen victim to police brutality, a survey by human rights organization "Public Verdict" and Moscow's Metodicheskaya Laboratoriya found. Another 28.6 percent of Russians had heard of similar cases from family and friends, Russia's RBC news outlet reported. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [22 May 2017]

Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups. The Battle Chronicle
For the past four years, the Kremlin has sought to stigmatize criticism or alternative views of government policy as disloyal, foreign-sponsored, or even traitorous. It is part of a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms. An enduring, central feature has been the 2012 law requiring independent groups to register as “foreign agents” if they receive any foreign funding and engage in broadly defined “political activity.” In Russia, the term “foreign agent” can be interpreted by the public only as “spy” or “traitor.” To date, Russia’s Justice Ministry has designated 158 groups as “foreign agents,” courts have levied staggering fines on many groups for failing to comply with the law, and about 30 groups have shut down rather than wear the “foreign agent” label. Organizations targeted include groups that work on human rights, the environment, LGBT issues, and health issues, groups that do polling about social issues. A court forced the closure of AGORA Association, one of Russia’s leading human rights organizations , in response to a Justice Ministry suit alleging that the group violated the “foreign agents” law and carried out work beyond its mandate. The ministry has removed its “foreign agent” tag from over 20 groups, acknowledging that they had stopped accepting foreign funding. Accordingly, as of May 22, 2017, the official list of active “foreign agents” consisted of 96 groups. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [22 May 2017]

PBS NewsHour" reports on detention of its journalists together with mosque-goers in Makhachkala
In Makhachkala, members of the film crew of the American "PBS NewsHour" TV Channel, who were carrying out an edition's assignment, were detained together with believers of the mosque in Omarov Street after Friday prayers. In an hour and a half, the journalists were released and left the region. This was reported by the Washington headquarters of the "PBS NewsHour" TV Channel. The number of the detainees included reporter Nick Shifrin, producer Zak Fannin, and cameraman Roman Stepanovich, the "Caucasian Knot"correspondent reports. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [20 May 2017]

Navalny Unmasks a Cartel Allegedly Earning Billions in Russian Defense Deals
Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) published its latest investigative work on Friday, revealing what it says is a cartel of businesses owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin and contracted by the Defense Ministry. Widely known as “Vladimir Putin’s favorite chef,” Prigozhin is a billionaire restaurateur with a history of catering to St. Petersburg’s elites and winning lucrative federal procurement deals. According to ACF, his cartel has won more than 23 billion rubles ($405 million) in defense contracts. Navalny says his group was able to uncover Prigozhin’s massive resources using published data about federal procurement orders. [...]
Source: The Moscow Times [19 May 2017]

Ukraine Opens Criminal Probe Against Stalin, Beria For Crimean Tatar Deportations
Ukrainian officials have announced a criminal investigation into Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, for the mass deportation of Muslim Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula during World War II, which killed tens of thousands. Ukrainian officials have announced a criminal investigation into Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria, for the mass deportation of Muslim Tatars from the Crimean Peninsula during World War II, which killed tens of thousands. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [19 May 2017]