Person of the Week: Natalya Sharina

posted 1 Nov 2015, 09:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 1 Nov 2015, 10:07 ]
On 28 October 2015, Natalya Sharina, director of the Library of Ukrainian literature in Moscow, was detained by police. Police also searched the Library and Sharina's home, seizing a number of books and documents. The same day police detained Valery Semenenko, head of the Association of Ukrainians in Russia. Authorities allege that some of the Library's materials are intended to 'incite hatred' toward Russians. If convicted, Sharina may face a term in prison of up to five years. After her detention Sharina became ill and emergency medics diagnosed her with hypertonic collapse and dangerously high blood pressure. Sharina was not transferred to a hospital as medics said was necessary. Human Rights Watch has called for her immediate and unconditional release. 

Photo: RFE/RL

Human Rights Watch has commented: 'Russian authorities have detained the director of the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature, apparently alleging that some of the library’s materials are meant to “incite hatred” toward the Russian people. [...] Detaining Sharina over the content of library materials violates her right to “impart information and ideas of all kinds,” protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. She should be immediately and unconditionally released.'

'Director of Ukrainian Library in Moscow arrested after armed search for "anti-Russian" material,' Human Rights in Ukraine, 29 October 2015
'Russia: Librarian Locked Up. Ukrainian Library’s Director Accused of "Inciting Hatred",’ Human Rights Watch, 30 October 2015
'Ukraine Librarian Detained In Moscow Falls Ill, Claims Was Framed,' RFE/RL, 31 October 2015