OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 61: New charges against Yury Dmitriev, hunger strikes, and some good news

posted 29 Jun 2018, 06:53 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jun 2018, 06:58 ]
29 June 2018

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

Unexpectedly, the State Duma has passed in third reading a bill establishing that a day spent in pre-trial detention is to be counted as a day and a half in a prison colony. The bill was introduced into the State Duma as long as ten years ago. It applies to far from all prisoners, but nonetheless we are delighted.

In Chelyabinsk, charges have been dropped in the case of a protest with a banner reading, “The FSB is the main terrorist.” Charges of hooliganism were brought after a banner was hung on the local FSB headquarters that read, “The FSB is the main terrorist.” Three of those detained in the case have said they were beaten and tortured with an electric shocker.  

Dmitry Buchenkov, a defendant in the Bolotnaya Square case, has been granted political asylum in Lithuania. Buchenkov was not in Moscow on 6 May 2012. Nevertheless, he was remanded in custody for more than a year, and then put on trial. He escaped from house arrest before sentence was pronounced in his case.  

Oleg Navalny has been released. Great news! He was sentenced to three years six months in a prison colony in the Yves Rocher case. While serving his sentence, Oleg Navalny was put in solitary confinement a total of seven times, including for such ‘offences’ as sitting at a table after the end of meal time or sitting on his bed in the daytime. At the end of his term of imprisonment, he was held in prison cell-type accommodation, rather than the usual prison colony barracks.

The historian and head of the Karelian Memorial Society, Yury Dmitriev, is under investigation for violent actions of a sexual nature against his adopted daughter, a minor. Dmitriev has been remanded in custody for two months. Earlier, Dmitriev had been charged with making photographs of a pornographic nature, involving the young girl, and “perverted acts.” On 5 April Petrozavodsk Town Court acquitted Dmitriev on these charges. His lawyer believes that the new charges have been brought solely because the previous trial collapsed.

This week several political prisoners have declared hunger strikes.

  • Human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku went on hunger strike on 28 June.
    He has been charged with taking part in Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation designated as terrorist in Russia.

  • Ilya Shakursky, prosecuted in the so-called Network case, has been put in solitary confinement for allegedly talking during the daily hour-long walk. He has also declared a hunger strike.

  • Kemerovo blogger, Stanislav Kalinichenko, charged with “causing pain” to a police officer, announced he was beginning a hunger strike on 24 June on account of the conditions in which he is being held on remand. According to his brother, while on remand Kalinichenko has been put in solitary confinement for 15 days and tortured with an electricshocker.

Vyacheslav Shatrovsky is to be transferred to a prison colony before his sentence has entered into force. This is in violation of Article 49 of the Constitution. Shatrovsky was sentenced to three years in a general-regime prison colony for allegedly assaulting a police officer during the so-called ‘Maltsev revolution.’ At the time of his arrest, Shatrovsky suffered an open head wound.


“If it’s hell all around you, you have to do something positive.” We have published an interview with the coordinator of the ‘Broadcasts’ chat, Liza Nesterova. From this interview you will learn how to ensure that all detainees are well-fed and healthy, what you can do to help on days when there are no rallies, and how not to lose one’s reason, despite everything.  We like what Liza is doing. The number of people wanting to help those who get into difficult situations is inspiring. We are very happy to support initiatives of this kind in other cities. Write to us via our Bot.

“I don’t regret anything, I don’t repent. I continue to believe I am innocent.” We have talked with Dmitry Borisov about violence in pre-trial detention, about getting used to ‘free talk’ in prison, and about evenings with a mugs of strong prison tea [chifir].  Borisov was sentenced to one year in a prison colony following the “Don’t Call Him Dimon” protests for allegedly striking a police officer.


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