OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 34: Restrictions on the right of assembly dog Aleksei Navalny's election campaign

posted 22 Dec 2017, 04:41 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Dec 2017, 04:55 ]
22 December 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

If this Sunday you plan to go out walking, then you really must sign up to our legal bot, read the detailed guide on what to do if you are arrested, and make a note of our telephone number: 8 800 707 05 28. You can also watch our cartoon

We have started two major mapping projects:

"Where Things Are Forbidden" — in which we show the map of Russian cities where it is not allowed to assemble “peacefully and without weapons."
"In the Wake of Navalny" — in which we show the thousands of refusals of permission for rallies, and the mere 27 rallies that have taken place in the most awkward locations. We describe how the authorities do not allow the public to meet with Aleksei Navalny, and how they persecute those working on his election campaign. 

And now for the news:

Human rights defender Igor Nagavkin and two other defendants in the case were stripped naked, beaten and threatened with rape by means of a rubber truncheon before the court hearing. The judge responded by saying: “Never mind, it happens.” Nagavkin's pre-trial detention was extended into the spring. Nagavkin is charged with theft of jewelry. Human rights defenders believe he was prosecuted on account of his professional work. Nagavkin himself thinks he attracted the authorities' attention when he attempted to expose a drug mafia within the law enforcement agencies.

The nationalist Igor Stenin has been sent back to a low security prison on the demand of the General Prosecutor’s Office. Stenin spent nine months in prison, after which the charges against him were dropped and he was released. However, the case was returned to the court that upheld the conviction. He had been convicted on the grounds of someone else’s commentary published on the Vkontakte social media network beneath an article about the war on the territory of Ukraine.

A jailed volunteer who had been working on Navalny’s election campaign in Cheboksary has been sent to solitary confinement for five days in a punishment cell for having woollen socks in a bedside cupboard. He was sentenced to two years and three months in a low-security prison for posts he made on the Vkontakte social media site. He has been in prison for only one month, but in that time the prison administration has issued three warnings against him for allegedly breaking regulations, including one warning for taking a shower three times a week, instead of the two permitted. 

Pussy Riot, activists from the "Decommunisation" movement and the Orthodox activist Dmitry Enteo each in their own way congratulated the FSB on Chekist’s Day. At the first event, Maria Alekhina and two photographers were arrested; at the second, journalists from Dozhd TV were detained. Subsequently, Alekhina was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, and a photographer was given 60.

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