Person of the Week: Aleksandr Margolin

posted 1 Feb 2016, 09:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 09:29 ]
On 29 January 2016 a court in Ryazan region ruled that Bolotnaya Square prisoner Aleksandr Margolin should be released on parole, some six months before his sentence is due to expire. Aleksandr Margolin was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison on 18 August 2014 in connection with the alleged riots at Bolotnaya Square on 6 May 2012. He had been held in detention since 20 February 2013. As The Moscow Times reports, of those found guilty in the case, Andrei Barabanov, Sergei Krivov, Alexei Gaskarov and Dmitry Ishyevsky still remain in jail.

On 17 September 2015 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia had violated the rights of three people, detained at the 6 May 2012 demonstration on Bolotnaya Square, to trial “within a reasonable time”. The Court ordered Russia to pay compensation to Leonid Kovyazin, Artem Savelov, and Ilya Gushchin. On 28 January 2016 it was reported by RAPSI that the Russian authorities had appealed the ruling to the Grand Chamber. 

Meanwhile, on 5 January 2016 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Frumkin v. Russia (application no. 74568/12) that Mr Frumkin, a participant in the political rally at Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on 6 May 2012 held to protest against “abuses and falsifications” in the elections to the State Duma and the presidential elections, had been the victim of violations of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) both on account of the authorities’ failure to ensure the peaceful conduct of the assembly and on account of Mr Frumkin’s arrest, pre-trial detention and administrative sentence; a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); and a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d). As reported, the Court found in particular that "the authorities had not complied with the minimum requirements in their duty to communicate with the leaders of the rally, which had been an essential part of their obligation to ensure the peaceful conduct of the assembly, to prevent disorder and to secure the safety of all citizens involved. Mr Frumkin’s arrest, detention and administrative conviction had been grossly disproportionate to the aims pursued; those measures must have had the effect of discouraging him and others from participating in protest rallies or more generally from engaging actively in opposition politics."

Amnesty International has called the conviction of participants in the Bolotnaya Square rally a 'hideous injustice' and has consistently called for all charges against those prosecuted to be dropped, and all those incarcerated to be immediately and unconditionallly released. 

Photo: RosUznik

'Russian Court Releases Bolotnoye Case Prisoner on Parole,' The Moscow Times, 29 January 2016
'Russia appeals ECHR ruling regarding compensation to Bolotnaya case convicts,' RAPSI, 28 January 2016
Frumkin v Russia, European Court of Human Rights, 5 January 2016
'Russia: Guilty verdict in Bolotnaya case - injustice at its most obvious,' Amnesty International, 21 February 2014