OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 86: Interrogations because of instagram stories, decriminalisation of Article 282, and the real age of protesters

posted 23 Dec 2018, 13:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Dec 2018, 13:28 ]
21 December 2018

Greetings to our readers!

In Moscow, picketers defending sausages, vapes and lace underwear have been arrested. The organisers of a picket against absurd bans estimate that over 250 people took part. At the heart of the rally were a human-vape, a human-sausage, a human-coffee, a human-cucumber and a woman in lace underwear. The remaining protesters had sealed their mouths shut with black tape.

A teenager claims to have been called in for interrogation because of an instagram story he posted, involving a police officer. The 16-year old activist for Protest Biysk, Maxim Neverov, was called in by investigators for interrogation about his instagram story. According to Neverov, his story included several videos of him asking a police officer to give up his seat for an elderly lady on a bus. One of the videos included the caption, “And he didn’t give up his seat, the prick” - this is what led to the police’s claim against him. The investigator relayed over the telephone his intention to press criminal charges of insulting a government representative (article 319 of the criminal code).

The State Duma have approved the partial decriminalisation of article 282 of the criminal code. Now, according to the law, first-time offenders making online posts which incite hatred or hostility will have administrative protocols drawn up against them. If they reoffend within six months, then criminal charges will be pressed. Read which other articles can be used to punish online posts here.

A participant in the 9th September protests has been given a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer. Beliakov told the media that he grabbed a police officer’s truncheon in order to stop him from beating a protester. When he saw the officer start to fall, he backed away.

The defence in the case of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Chechen branch of Memorial, has rejected the results of an investigative reenactment, and a key witness could not identify the human rights activist. The witness, who was not able to identify the human rights activist, reported in January that he had seen Titiev smoking marijuana on two occasions. Lawyers were not called to take part in the reenactment.

Criminal proceedings have been initiated in Cheliabinsk against the leader of the Stop GOK movement. Vasily Moskovets is accused of inciting hooliganism, conspiring with a group of individuals to use objects as weapons. There is an ongoing confrontation between the Chaliabinsk authorities and local residents over the construction of a mining and processing plant (gorno-obogatitelny kombinat, or GOK). The authorities are preventing rallies against the plant and are pressing charges against activists. OVD-Info covers the conflict here and here.


“There were weeks when I was getting four hours of sleep a night. Prison - work - university - rinse and repeat. A crazed wheel driving you into the abyss.” We have released an unusual piece. Firstly, it is about feelings. And secondly, it is not about the people behind bars, but about those who remain free. We spoke with three people about what happened to them when their loved ones were put in prison.

How young are protesters? Statistics against the Duma. The State Duma has passed a bill on its third reading regarding punishments for those who attract minors to take part in protests. This law is the result of speculation around Alexey Navalny’s rallies: supposedly, teenagers make up the bulk of today’s protesters. We analysed the average age of supposed participants in pro-Navalny rallies and found out that, most likely, minors make up less than 15%. Our article contains a diagram and a map, which we drew up based on key data about participants in rallies.


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Translated by Judith Fagelson