Person of the Week: Natalya Pelevina

posted 14 Mar 2016, 09:12 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Mar 2016, 09:13 ]
On 11 March 2016 the Investigative Committee announced that it had opened an investigation after what it called an illegal surveillance device was found at the home of activist Natalya Pelevina, who is a member of the PARNAS opposition party. The Moscow Times reports that, according to the Investigative Committee, 'a pen-like video recorder was discovered at Pelevina's apartment during a search.' Pelevina's apartment was reportedly searched on Thursday 10 March 2016. The Committee stated: 'The illegal circulation of such items is punishable by law and a criminal case against Pelevina was opened." The Moscow Times also reports that the Investigative Committee claimed that it had 'discovered documents showing that Pelevina received $35,000 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) foundation in 2013-2014. Pelevina was a co-founder of the so-called May 6 Committee that aided Russia's political prisoners who took part in large-scale anti-Kremlin protests on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012.' The National Endowment for Democracy, which is largely funded by the US Congress, was declared to be an 'undesirable' organization by the Russian authorities in July 2015, banning it from working in Russia. The current leader of PARNAS, Mikhail Kasyanov, has recently been the victim of persistent physical harassment. As RFE/RL points out in its report on the case, PARNAS former co-chair, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead near the Kremlin on 27 February 2015. 
Photo: Facebook

'Investigative Committee Says Russian Activist Possesses Illegal Surveillance Device,' The Moscow Times, 11 March 2016
'Moscow Launches Investigation Of Opposition Parnas Activist,' RFE/RL, 11 March 2016
Наталья Пелевина, Facebook