OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 30: A tragic death, and news of prison terms...

posted 24 Nov 2017, 04:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Nov 2017, 08:14 ]
24 November 2017

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday it sends out a mailing with the latest information on freedom of assembly, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here



This past week has been one of contrasts. There have been absolutely horrific events, along with ones that are not so bad. We report the news of both kinds in what follows.


In Crimea, the veteran of the Crimean Tatar movement, Vedzhie Kashka, has died after law enforcement officers attempted to detain her. Kashka, who was 82, began to feel unwell when FSB officers arrested her colleagues. On the morning of 23 November, FSB officers detained three Crimean Tatar activists. They were charged with large scale extortion of money from a citizen of Turkey and sent to a temporary detention centre. The journalist Aider Muzhdabaev asserts that, judging by the video taken during the arrests, the FSB officers edited out the moment that Vedzhie Kashka was herself arrested:

“I am certain they did this because they also pushed the elderly woman to the floor. After that, she began to feel unwell. The officers became frightened and called the ambulance (this is on the video) in which Vedzhie Kashka died on the way to hospital.”


Ali Feruz, a journalist working for Novaya gazeta, has been fined 5,000 roubles for writing for the newspaper without a work permit. The court ruled that the journalist should be deported from Russia, but halted the process on the grounds of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights barring deportation of Feruz. Before Feruz was taken to the court hearing, a member of staff at the Centre for Temporary Detention of Foreign Citizens where the journalist is being held, told Feruz: “Get ready to go home.” The court hearing took place in the evening after the courthouse was closed to the public. Ali Feruz left Uzbekistan eight years ago after the security services of that country tried to persuade him to become an informer, and he left to live in Russia. Before Feruz succeeded in escaping, he was subjected to torture.  


Тhree of Vyacheslav Maltsev’s supporters, detained in Moscow on 1 November, have been remanded in custody on charges of terrorism. One of those detained telephoned OVD-Info and said the police had broken down the door of his apartment in New Moscow, where he and two of his colleagues were at the time. All three were charged with failing to obey the demands of police officers and were sent to a special detention centre. On leaving the special detention centre they were detained by officers of the Investigative Committee.


A supporter of Maltsev from Volgograd has been committed to a psychiatric clinic for compulsory treatment. For more details about the persecution of the Maltsev’s followers , see here and here.  


The mathematician Dmitry Bogatov confirmed his alibi during a polygraph test. Bogatov has been charged with inciting mass rioting and justification of terrorism. He has been prosecuted on the grounds of messages, proposing that people should go to Red Square on 2 April 2017, posted on the SysAdmins.ru forum by someone using the pseudonym “Airat Bashirov.” The messages were sent from Bogatov’s IP address. However, Bogatov operates a Tor node which means that any user can send a message from his IP address. At the time the “crime” was committed, Bogatov was training in a gym.


The nationalist Stanislav Zimovets, convicted in the Case of 26 March, has been transferred to a prison colony in his native town. This summer Zimovets was sentenced to 30 months in prison under Article 318 of the Criminal Code (violence against a public official). According to the investigators, Zimovets threw a fragment of brick at a National Guard officer, after which he fled into the crowd. Zimovets said that by his actions he had been trying to help people taking part in the protest, which the police were using excessive force to disperse.


Write a letter:

Stanislav Sergevich Zimovets, born 1985, Prison Colony No. 12, Aleksandrova Street, No. 86, Volzhsky, Volgograd region 401103.

401103, Волгоградская область, город Волжский, улица Александрова, 86, ИК-12, Зимовцу Станиславу Сергеевичу, 1985 г.р.


An appeal court has  reduced the sentence of another person convicted in the Case of 26 March, Aleksei Politikov, by six months. In October Politikov was sentenced to two years in a general regime prison colony. Aleksei Politikov is a supporter of the leader of the Artpodgotovka movement, led by Vyacheslav Maltsev. He was detained during a search in Maltsev’s home on 10 June. According to investigators, Politikov used force, which was not a threat to health or life, against police captain Shvetsov (Article 318, Section 1, of the Criminal Code): “he seized [the officer] by force, squeezing his body, grabbing on to items of his clothing,” and also tried to push him to the ground, and hit him with his fist once in the stomach.


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For more information on OVD-Info, read this article from the organisation's founder on how OVD is breaking the civil society mould here.


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