Person of the Week: Andrei Mayakov

posted 21 Sept 2015, 09:41 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Sept 2015, 09:45 ]
On 16 September, Andrei Mayakov, deputy head of the Moscow-based human rights organization Committee for Civil Rights, was detained by police on suspicion of fraud. On 18 September, a Moscow court remanded Andrei Mayakov in custody until 16 November 2015. RFE/RL reports that investigators allege that Mayakov accepted at least 900,000 rubles ($13,700) from a defendant in a criminal case, promising him he would bribe prosecutors to rule in his favor. "Mayakov did not have acquaintances in the given subdivision of the prosecutor's office nor any other ways of influencing the procedural decision in a criminal case," Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax September 17. "He intended to pot the money he had received illegally."

Some observers believe the case against Mayakov may be fabricated and may indicate a new stage in the crackdown on human rights organizations in Russia.

It is perhaps noteworthy that the head of the Committee for Civil Rights, Andrei Babushkin, had recently been a member of a group from the Presidential Human Rights Council to have visited former Yukos employee Andrei Pichugin in prison. Babushkin urged that disciplinary sanctions against Pichugin be lifted so that he could be transferred to a prison with a less strict regime prison.

'Russia Detains Top Rights Activist On Charges Of Fraud,' RFE/RL, 18 September 2015
'Pravozashchitnik iz "Komiteta za grazhdanskie prava" Andrei Mayakov arestovan, Kommersant, 17 September 2015
Nikolai Sergeev, 'Оbshchestvennuiu zashchitu priznali moshenichestvom,' Kommersant, 17 September 2015
'Human rights activist Andrei Babushkin describes Presidential Human Rights Council's visit to top-security "Black Dolphin" prison and Aleksei Pichugin,' in English, 15 September 2015
'Mayakov Andrei Vladimirovich. Biografia,' Komitet za Grazhdanskie Prava