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28 December 2016

posted 28 Dec 2016, 01:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 Dec 2016, 01:22 ]
Russia’s terror grip on Crimea tightens with new ruling on 4 Crimean Tatar political prisoners

It is a terrible indictment of Russia’s justice system that the real prison sentences passed in September on four innocent Crimean Tatars should have been seen as something of a triumph, since they were less than the prosecution had demanded. The triumph was short-lived. On Dec 27, Russia’s Supreme Court allowed the prosecutor’s appeal against Ruslan Zeitullayev’s 7-year sentence (as opposed to the 17-year sentence demanded) and sent the ‘case’ for retrial. The Court rejected the appeals brought by Ferat Saifullayev, Rustem Vaitov and Nuri Primov against their 5-year sentences. In addition to the multiple reasons for questioning the charges and trial, the Supreme Court was also confronted with a ruling from the Rostov Military Court which is quite surreal, with most of the ‘evidence’ mentioned pre-dating Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. This is of critical importance given that all four men are charged with involvement in an organization that was and remains legal in Ukraine and most other countries. [...]
Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [28 December 2016]

Russian charged with ’extremism’ for reposting video condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine
Russia’s Investigative Committee has brought criminal charges against Roman Grishin for merely reposting a video clip back in 2014. The Russian investigators claim that the clip, a biting attack on Russia’s excuses for its aggression against Ukraine, contains utterances that fall under Russia’s anti-extremism law. It contains plenty that would not please Russian President Vladimir Putin, but none that justify ‘extremism’ charges. The Investigative Committee is also ignoring recent instructions from Russia’s Supreme Court aimed against criminal prosecutions for a mere reposting of material. 33-year-old Grishin, who works as a copy-editor in Kaluga, is not an activist in any way. He assumes that the FSB’s unhealthy interest in his person arose from his trips to Ukraine where he has a friend with whom he has travelled around the country and the fact that he did not conceal his opposition to the Russian authorities’ behaviour with respect to Ukraine. [...]

Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [28 December 2016]

Russia’s Supreme Court specifies reasons for liquidation of NGOs

The Supreme Court of Russia believes that denial of democratic principles, cries for war and discrimination are sufficient reasons for liquidation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a ruling of the court’s plenum reads on Tuesday. The Supreme Court, however, notes that there is no list of grave violations in Russian legislation that lead to liquidation of NGOs and each court should resolve the matter individually. The court announced that violations of rights and freedoms of a person guaranteed by principles of international law in accordance with Russia’s Constitution suffice for liquidation of organization. [...]
Source: RAPSI [27 December 2016]

Parties may be liquidated during election race only for extremism – Russian Supreme Court
Russia’s Supreme Court’s plenum ruled on Tuesday that political parties may be liquidated during election race only if they are found to be extremist. According to Russian legislation, there are several rationales for liquidation of political parties, including violations of the federal laws and failure to comply with a party’s charter. It was noted that if a court’s ruling to liquidate party may influence election campaign an electoral commission is to get involved in reviewing the case. On August 9, the court ruled to liquidate political party Volya as extremist organization. [...]
Source: RAPSI [27 December 2016]

Court examines investigators' refusal to open case on Geriev's kidnapping
The information about the kidnapping and application of violence to Zhalaudi Geriev, a "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, was not confirmed, says the statement of the Investigating Department for Chechnya of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF). Earlier, the court refused to send the data about Geriev's kidnapping for examination outside Chechnya, the defence has reminded. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 15 the Supreme Court (SC) of the Chechen Republic began considering the complaint against the verdict to Geriev. On December 13, the defence pointed to investigators' interference into the trial. [...]
Source: Caucasian Knot [26 December 2016]