Person of the Week: Mikhail Anshakov

posted 5 Oct 2015, 06:50 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 5 Oct 2015, 06:55 ]
On the night of Thursday 1 October 2015, Mikhail Anshakov, director of the Moscow-based NGO the Society for Consumer Rights, was detained by police at a Moscow train station. He was later released on condition he appear before district bailiffs. As The Moscow Times reported, Anshakov and his organization had 'attracted the ire of President Vladimir Putin by describing Crimea as an “occupied” territory, and accused a Kremlin-linked group of running commercial ventures from Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.' On Facebook Mikhail Anshakov said the case against him was most likely linked to to his criticism of the Foundation for Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Moscow Times writes: 'The activist was convicted of slander in 2013 and sentenced to a fine of 100,000 rubles ($3,100 at the time) for a newspaper interview and an article on his organization's website, arguing that Christ the Savior Cathedral had been turned into a “business center.” Anshakov refused to pay the fine imposed by what he has described as an absurd verdict.' This summer the Society for Consumer Rights published a memo for tourists urging Russians to take precautions when travelling to “occupied” Crimea. President Putin condemned publication of the memo and said the organization was working 'in the interests of foreign states.'

Anna Dolgov, 'Russian Consumer Rights Activist Anshakov Arrested in Moscow,' The Moscow Times, 2 October 2015
Mikhail Anshakov, Facebook