Amnesty International: 'In the current political climate in Russia, politically-motivated trials in cases like that of Yekaterina Vologzheninova are increasingly common'

posted 13 Jan 2016, 00:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Jan 2016, 00:39 ]
'Yekaterina Vologzheninova, a shop assistant from Yekaterinburg, faces the charge of “inciting hatred or enmity” for her online criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s military involvement in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. Since the start of her trial on 27 October, three hearings have taken place and three of the prosecution’s five witnesses have been questioned. One of the prosecution’s witnesses, Yekaterina Vologzheninova’s former colleague, withdrew the statement he had given during the investigation and said that a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer “had perverted his words”. The other two witnesses were staff members of Roskomnadzor (the official media and communications watchdog) and had been present during the search of Yekaterina Vologzheninova’s flat in December 2014. They claimed that Yekaterina Vologzheninova’s posts on social media insulted their feelings as citizens of the Russian Federation and were “aimed against the country’s citizens and its government”. However, they could not confirm that her posts were aimed at specific ethnic groups – which is an element of the crime Vologzheninova is accused of. The prosecution’s two remaining witnesses, an FSB officer who had conducted a search in her flat, and a woman Yekaterina Vologzheninova had never heard of, failed to attend the hearings and the court ordered that they should be brought to court by bailiffs. The trial against Yekaterina Vologzheninova will continue on 21 January. In the current political climate in Russia, politically-motivated trials in cases like that of Yekaterina Vologzheninova are increasingly common. Yekaterina Vologzheninova is the only provider for her teenage daughter and elderly mother.'

                - Amnesty International, 12 January 2016

Source: 'RUSSIAN FEDERATION: FURTHER INFORMATION: TRIAL AGAINST GOVERNMENT CRITIC CONTINUES: YEKATERINA VOLOGZHENINOVA,' Amnesty International, 12 January 2016

In an 'Urgent Action' appeal issued on 12 January 2016 Amnesty International urged supporters to write immediately in Russian, English or their own language: 
  • Urging the Russian authorities to close the criminal case against Yekaterina Vologzheninova and insisting that she is being prosecuted solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression; 
  • Urging them to ensure that her name is removed immediately from Rosfinmonitoring’s List of Terrorists and Extremists; 
  • Calling on them to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression for all persons in Russia. 
For more information about the appeal and the addresses to which to send letters, please see: Source: 'RUSSIAN FEDERATION: FURTHER INFORMATION: TRIAL AGAINST GOVERNMENT CRITIC CONTINUES: YEKATERINA VOLOGZHENINOVA,' Amnesty International, 12 January 2016
For further information about this case, see also: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/EUR46/2682/2015/en/'
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