OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 79: A Flashmob against Torture, a School Student Arrested, and Compulsory Psychiatric Hospitalisation

posted 2 Nov 2018, 15:19 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Nov 2018, 15:39 ]
2 November 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 news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here

Greetings to our readers!

Sorry to say we have no particular good news for you. However, this week it does seems that no one has been tortured! And so life goes on.

On 28 October there were protests in support of those charged in the so-called Network and New Greatness cases. Approximately 60 people were arrested: 18 in Moscow, and 40 in St. Petersburg. You can read about the court hearings in the cases of those arrested here. There is also some good news: a jail sentence imposed on one of the participants was quashed.

In St. Petersburg police did not permit a woman to write “Stop Torturing People” on the road surface. Police officers forced her to wipe out the slogan and threatened the woman, a student, that she could be expelled from university for such actions before releasing her. The woman had written the slogan on the road as part of a flashmob against torture.

In Chelyabinsk a criminal investigation has been opened in connection with a drawing against pension reform on a mobile accommodation unit. The picture showed one person wearing a crown together with a pensioner , and the words: “Our poverty is their profit” and “Pension Reform.” Police considered the drawing “desecration of public buildings.”

In Cheboksary a Class Seven school student [about 13 years old - trans] was arrested for taking part in a picket at the memorial to victims of political repression. The youth had been standing with a placard that read, “Karl Fedorovich Gefs, a goods train conductor. Shot: 29/05/1938.” He was released together with his mother from the police station after having given an explanation of their actions. Meanwhile in St. Petersburg two participants in an “Immortal Gulag” protest were arrested. They were also released without being charged.

Three cages with sheep inside were delivered to the editorial offices of Novaya gazeta, a Moscow newspaper. The animals had been dressed in waistcoats with the words, “Press” and “Novaya gazeta.” This is the third “gift” delivered to the newspaper over the past month. The others were a funeral wreath with threats and a basket with a sheep’s head. The journalists have given the sheep to an animal welfare centre.

On the eve of the so-called Russian March, police have been visiting nationalists. Police officers from the anti-extremism unit visited the home of one of the organisers of the Russian March in Moscow. In Saratov, an organiser of the local march was threatened with criminal prosecution if there were to be any disorder on the forthcoming March.


We have published a piece about each of the defendants in the New Greatness case: what they were doing before their arrest, how they met each other and what they now stand charged with doing. We have also published the speeches of four defendants in this case who remain in pre-trial detention. These speeches were made at the appeal hearing against being remanded in custody. The appeal, as expected, was dismissed.

“Repressive personalities.” We examine how followers of Scientology are being prosecuted in Russia and why human rights defenders consider this unlawful.

“One should never go online in a public place.” We eludicate why police consider activists to be mad, whether you can be sent to a psychiatric hospital for a repost - and what will happen to you if they want to incarcerate you in that manner.


Every day we publish news and provide assistance to people who have been arrested.

Now we are in great need of your support. After all, everything that we do is done with your assistance.

You can sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. Among other things, that will help us continue to produce this weekly bulletin.

Illustration: Аnastasia Vikulov for OVD-Info