OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 82: Maltsev’s Revolution again, in pursuit of Khaski, and some rare victories

posted 25 Nov 2018, 10:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Nov 2018, 10:36 ]
23 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!

This week, OVD-Info has published multiple stories starring the famous rapper Khaski. The police tried to break up his concert in Rostov on Don. In Krasnodar, the rapper’s show was cancelled, and Khaski himself detained. Before this, a club in Krasnodar had received a note from the prosecution, stating that Khaski’s songs incite “completely suicidal, violent actions, extremist leanings and promotion of drugs.” It then became clear that Khaski’s destiny was not to perform in Volgograd. Information even emerged about a criminal case alleging that, following the cancellation of his concert in Krasnodar, the artist put on a concert on the roof of a car. This information remains unconfirmed. In the end, the courts in Krasnodar detained Khaski for 12 days under the statutes on petty hooliganism and refusals to undergo medical examinations.

Kuntsevo, a district in Moscow, has turned into a hub for civic activism over the last week, as residents protest against the development works in a local courtyard. Over the course of two days, 12 people were arrested in the area, including the former head of the Yabloko party, Sergey Mitrokhin. An activist from the Perpetual Protest in Kuntsevo was also arrested on the grounds that he had been carrying a large stick; another protester against the construction work was detained for installing an Orthodox cross. A few days later, Sergey Mitrokhin was arrested outside the Moscow cinema “Solovey” (“The Nightingale”), which is scheduled for demolition.

In the village of Pesochny, near St Petersburg, unidentified people beat civic activist Dmitri Nachnikin over the head with metal piping. He is currently in hospital, in a serious condition. The activist’s peers believe the attack to be connected with his collecting signatures in favour of a public hearing on the state budget, in view of suspicious state expenditures.

Olga Chebotareva is an activist from the village of Novodrozhino, in the Leninsky district on the outskirts of Moscow. She has been participating in civic forums on the topic of urban engineering and has also been organising rallies on a range of issues, and claims that her car was set alight.

Stories like these, sadly, often go uninvestigated. However, this week in Makhachkala, the courts sentenced Karim Kasunov to a year and a half in prison. Kasumov had been charged with attacking a journalist from the online news site the Caucasian Knot (Kavkazsky Uzel), Patimat Makhmudova, during a protest on the 12th June 2017.

The courts in Cheliabinsk have left Amir Giliazov, who uses a wheelchair, in custody. A criminal case has been filed against him, alleging his membership in a terrorist organisation. According to Giliazov’s wife, he is accused of recruiting and of disseminating videos on behalf of the organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has been groundlessly labelled as a terrorist organisation.

However, there is some good news too: the courts in St Petersburg have acquitted Aleksandr Eyvasov, a former court secretary, who had been charged with obstructing the course of justice. Eyvazov spoke publicly about the multiple breaches committed by the Oktyabrsky district court in St Petersburg.

Oleg Navalny has successfully sued penal colony No. 5 in the Orlovsky region for 50,000 roubles in compensation for moral damage. The younger Navalny brother faced harsher conditions in prison than was expected: in particular he was constantly held in a cell, and not in the “day room”; his plug sockets were covered with concrete; his stool and bedside table were nailed to the floor; and his table was taken away.

Our publications

We published letters from three people who were briefly detained until 05.11.17. In particular, the letters recount in detail the storming of the flat in Novaya Moskva, which state televisions thoroughly enjoyed. The authors of the letters write about the planned provocation and confirm that a person under the surname Mayorov, who had offered to obtain weapons, had been housed in this flat with them. When the flat was stormed, Mayorev went missing while Dmitriev, Ivanov and Ozerov were sent to pre-trial detention facilities in Moscow, following a stint in special prison facilities and torture. At the same time, they briefly recalled the story of the Maltsev revolution.

“We can do this the hard way, too” Trusted discussions in supermarket car parks or informal chats in cafes - we reveal how the security forces are seeking meetings with opposition activists and how they persuade them to cooperate.

A member of the VKontakte group “Antilife”, which publishes pictures of people being hanged, has committed suicide. His parents believed Antilife to be a “death group” and reported it to the police. Law enforcement officers arrested Sergey, the 21-year-old group administrator. He is facing 5 to 15 years under an article of the criminal code which was introduced to combat the so-called “blue whale” groups on social media. Read the story here.

In Chechnya, the court case against the head of the Chechnyan branch of Memorial, rights activist Oyub Titiev, continues. He is charged with purchasing and storing large quantities of drugs. Titiev himself is due for interrogation today. We gathered 13 facts about this case.


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Illustration: Vlad Mliushkin for OVD-Info

Translated by Judith Fagelson